LeBron James James Harden
James Harden has been a starter in each of the last four NBA All-Star Games Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

We’re technically about two-thirds into the NBA season, but the “second half” of the year is now underway following the 2019 All-Star Game. Even though another Golden State Warriors' championship still feels inevitable, there are plenty of things to watch for up until the playoffs.

Here are three predictions for after the NBA All-Star break:

The Los Angeles Lakers will make the playoffs

The odds are actually against LeBron James and L.A. reaching the postseason. The Lakers are the No.10 seed in the West. They trail the No.9 seed Sacramento Kings by two games and the No.8 seed Angeles Clippers by three games. Los Angeles faces the most difficult schedule among that group, and they are still dealing with injuries.

But it’s hard to believe that James—as long as he’s healthy—​will most the postseason for the first time since 2005. The Lakers were 20-14 before he got hurt, and he proves each year that he can flip a switch like no one else in the league. The Clippers seemingly have no interest in making the playoffs after trading Tobias Harris, and the Kings probably won’t finish more than a few games above .500.

Anthony Davis won’t play again

It was thought that the New Orleans Pelicans would send Davis home for the rest of the season when they didn’t trade him by the deadline. The NBA threatened to fine the organization for doing so, and it’s been a disaster for the Pelicans ever since. Head coach Alvin Gentry called the situation a “dumpster fire” after Davis suffered a minor shoulder injury in the team’s last game and left the building before the contest was over.

Davis doesn’t seem entirely invested, scoring just 31 total points in three games before getting hurt. Just prior to that stretch, Davis was kept on the bench in the fourth quarter of a close game. The Pelicans have played better without Davis of late, and they can afford any fines that the league might throw at them over the next few weeks.

James Harden won’t win the MVP award

Harden is the odds-on favorite to win his second straight MVP award. He jumped ahead of several worthy candidates by carrying the Houston Rockets in the absence of Chris Paul. The guard averaged an incredible 43.6 points per game in January, and he hasn’t failed to reach the 30-point mark since Dec. 11.

Let’s see if Harden can keep up this historic pace for nearly two more months. Even if he comes close to it, two-way candidates like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Paul George star on better teams. Houston is only a few games up on the final playoff spot, and they could realistically finish at least 15 games behind Antetokounmpo and Milwaukee in the overall NBA standings.