This game was circled for months. David Stern and all the other bigwigs in the NBA were salivating at the idea of a single game featuring seven superstars: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol, and Steve Nash. What should have been touted as a weak, early NBA All-Star game has now become the biggest head-scratcher of the first half of the season. The Los Angeles Lakers, who tried to replicate the Heat’s secret recipe by collecting four superstars of their own this year, stink. They’ve proven that the Miami Heat didn’t create a formula for NBA success, but rather should be exemplified as a special set of guys selflessly coming together in a way that won’t be easily duplicated. The Heat enter the midpoint of the season comfortably settled atop the Eastern Conference. Though there are cracks that need to be covered (like that pesky rebounding problem), no one can deny that the 2012 champs are set to make another run at the crown. Immediately in their way is a potentially dangerous team of underachieving stars that has something to prove.
Sun., Feb. 10, 3:30 p.m., 2013