The 3 NBA teams that need the All-Star break the most

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Every year, the All-Star break provides teams with the biggest stretch of rest they'll get during the regular season.

Sometimes it comes at a great time for struggling or injured teams and sometimes it comes at a bad time for teams that are on fire.

This year, it couldn't come at a better time for three current playoff squads, all of which are dealing with some negativity heading into the break.

Whether it's dealing with injuries to star players or a general ineffectiveness in the last stretch of games, these squads need a break in the worst way.

From the Eastern Conference No. 1 seed to a team struggling to stay afloat in the West, here are the three teams most in need of some rest and recovery:

Oklahoma City Thunder

Russell Westbrook is one of the best players in the game, but even he can't win every game for the Thunder. Lately, he's been wearing down a bit as his workload has started to get to him.

Oklahoma City has only won four of its last 10 games, though all six losses have come to teams that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.

Still, if the Thunder are going to climb up from the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, a fresh Westbrook is going to have to come back from the All-Star break to start the second half of the season.

Though the star point guard will play in Sunday's All-Star Game, it's unlikely the exhibition will be very exerting for him. Couple that with a few extra days off and the Thunder, led by a re-energized star, could be a very dangerous team in the coming weeks.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Obviously, the Cavaliers have had their fair share of injuries this season, as both Kevin Love and J.R. Smith are currently out of action and will be for a few more weeks.

Therefore, if Cleveland is going to hold on to the top spot in the Eastern Conference (the Cavs currently lead second-place Boston by three games), LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are going to have to carry even more of the load than they already do.

In his 14th season, James is still the best all-around player in the league, but the Cavs would probably like to give him some more rest than he gets. That's out the window now, though.

And with Irving's injury history, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue needs to make sure another one of his star players doesn't go down. So, while James and Irving are both heading to New Orleans this weekend, they'll still have some stress-free downtime to prepare themselves mentally and physically for a grueling stretch run.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have seen themselves fall from the No. 2 spot in the East to the No. 4 spot thanks to a 4-6 record in their last 10 games.

The recent slide prompted the team to trade for Orlando Magic forward Serge Ibaka, who should provide a boost once he's had a chance to learn the Raptors' system.

It'll take some time to get Ibaka comfortable with Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and the rest of the squad, but once he does, the Raptors should be able to right the ship.

Having some time off will help Toronto coach Dwane Casey draw up some plays for Ibaka and figure out how to work his new star into the mix.

Kyrie Irving
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Kyle Lowry
Toronto Raptors
Atlantic Division
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Western Conference
LeBron James
Russell Westbrook

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