The All-Star break is over and the real NBA season is about to begin.

After a lockout-shortened pre-season without a training camp, teams have played together for a few months and should be rounding into form.

Almost every team has played at least half of its schedule, but many questions remain about who will contend for the title.

There are still plenty of trades that could be made by the March 15 deadline that will change the landscape of the league.

Here are the five biggest questions regarding the rest of the NBA season:

Can the Jeremy Lin and the Knicks stay hot?

The biggest story of the first half of the season was undoubtedly the emergence of Jeremy Lin.  Now, the question is whether Lin can continue his level of play in the second half.

The point guard had his worst game as a pro before the All-Star break with an eight-turnover, three-assist performance against the Heat. Lin is no longer a surprise to opposing players. Teams are gearing up to face the young phenom every night.

Perhaps the most difficult thing for Lin will be adjusting to the return of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.

Lin's initial run came with the two stars out of the lineup. It will be interesting to see if Lin will thrive with the addition of Stoudemire and Anthony, or if the two will struggle to coexist with the guard out of Harvard.

Will Dwight Howard get traded?

Much like Carmelo Anthony's last year, Dwight Howard's future has been one of the biggest questions of the entire season.

Orlando has stood strong all year, not succumbing to Howard's request for a trade. The Magic have until March 15 to decide whether or not they will trade Howard.

If Howard is moved, it could start a domino effect and lead to the movement of numerous players. A trade could also tilt the title chances in favor of the team that lands the center. If Orlando decides to keep Howard, they may very well look to add a player to try to entice D12 to sign a long term extension.

Can any team compete with the Heat and Bulls in the Eastern Conference?

While seeds three through eight are up for grabs in the Eastern Conference, the top two spots are seemingly locked down.

The Heat and the Bulls have been the best two teams in the Conference this season and have separated themselves from the pack. Miami's Big 3 is playing better than ever and Chicago remains a defensive juggernaut.

Is there any way these two teams don't meet in the Conference Finals?

The Pacers and 76ers have both been pleasant surprises, but it will be difficult for these two young teams to compete with the elite of the East. If the Knicks are able to put it together with Jeremy Lin, it's possible for them to contend.

Hopefully, one of these teams can at least give the Bulls or Heat a good playoff series.

Who will finish the season as the best team in L.A.?

Since the Clippers moved to Los Angeles in 1984, they've been second-class citizens to the Lakers.

This is one of the few times that the Clippers have a chance to supplant the Lakers as the best team in L.A.

Chris Paul and Blake Griffin lead the Lakers by 1.5 games in the Pacific Division. After failing to land Paul in the pre-season, the Lakers have been rumored in many trade discussions. They may yet trade Pau Gasol in an attempt to shake up their roster, and still have a chance of landing Dwight Howard.

Can Griffin and Paul make a run in their first year together?

Will the Bobcats finish with the worst record in NBA history?

In the 1972-1973 season, the 76ers set a record in futility with just nine wins. Almost 40 years later, the Bobcats are challenging Philadelphia's mark with just four wins at the All-Star break.

Currently, Charlotte is just ahead of Philly's pace with a .125 winning percentage. The Bobcats need eight total wins to avoid becoming the worst team in league history.

Luckily for Charlotte, they have one of the easiest remaining schedules in the NBA.

Even if they do finish with the worst winning percentage of all time, they'll get the consolation prize of having the best chance to win the lottery.