Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/17/14

The first half of the Miami Heat’s season is filled with tough matchups. The All-Star weekend for this season will be held in New Orleans from February 13-17, 2014 and will be a nice respite for the Heat after a tough first half. Most likely LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will be representing the Eastern Conference, making the game exciting to watch. According to ESPN news, former L.A. Lakers legend Magic Johnson said he would pay LeBron James $1 million dollars if he joined the dunk contest. The NBA currently pays $100,000 to the winner and $50,000 to the runner-up so James definitely can’t blame it on the money. It’s hard to get good athletes in the dunk contest due to the possibility of injury but the fans deserve a show and it would be awesome to see LeBron James and Blake Griffin throw down. While the exciting events and games of the All-Star break will be entertaining, the Heat have to get back to business after the 17th. On February 18th, the Heat play at Dallas to face off with Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks. Then on the 20th they travel to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder, led by the dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. After those two tough road games the Heat head back to American Airlines Arena and play the Chicago Bulls on the 23rd and the New York Knicks on the 27th: these games highlight the month’s schedule for Miami. The beginning of March marks another tough road trip for Miami. On March 4th, 6th, and 9th, they will travel to Houston, San Antonio, and Chicago to play the Rockets, Spurs, and Bulls. After that tough trip they have 4 straight home games then head out of town again on the 18th and 19th to play the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. The rest of March won’t be too bad for the Heat, but they do have a notable away game against the Indiana Pacers on the 26th. The month of April is usually the month that the Heat separate themselves from other superior teams around the NBA. These past 3 seasons, it seems like they hit another gear and played at a level that made them seem impossible to beat in a 7 games series. Looking at the April schedule, it looks like this can happen again. April 2nd and 4th they host the Milwaukee Bucks and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Then on the 6th and 8th they host the Knicks and Nets. They only have 3 road games the entire month: they travel to Memphis April 9th, Atlanta on the 12th, and Washington on the 14th. The Knicks and Nets games could be challenging but with the way Miami has played in the past at the end of the season, I believe they’ll send the league a message: they want a 3-peat. During this time Miami will be playing for the best record and home court advantage for the playoffs, so these games in April will be important and exciting as the playoff picture takes shape. Overall, the Heat have a tough schedule with several road games against top teams from the Eastern and Western conferences. They have a lot of home games against teams who gave them trouble last year during the playoffs so those games will be intense. Going into this season, the Heat of course want to defend their title and continue the legacy that owner Pat Riley built by getting LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen to join Dwyane Wade in Miami. I’m excited for this 2013-2014 season because I believe the Heat will 3-peat but it definitely won’t be easy, it wasn’t last season.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

JR Smith 'nervous as hell' about possible suspension

Dana White: No more WWE for Ronda Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk for 'bush league' play

Report: Eli Manning not concerned about contract

Several teams interested in Bucs' No. 1 overall pick?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Marcus Smart overslept, could get less playing time

Report: Adam Wainwright likely done for the season

DeMarco Murray: 'I'm not worried about the Cowboys'

Turner has great quote in defense of Bridgewater

Gary Bettman's quote about expansion makes no sense

Beltre sends Richards invoice for three broken bats

WATCH: Alex Gordon leaps into stands for incredible catch

WATCH: JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder in face

WATCH: Kevin Love leaves Game 4 with shoulder injury

Joe Flacco content with current Ravens receivers

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

WATCH: Bucks mascot devours fan

Protestors tried to have Orioles-Red Sox game called off

Greg Hardy abandons his Bentley during flash flood

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Alex Gordon leaps into stands for catch

Dana White: No more WWE for Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk

JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder

Report: Wainwright likely done for year

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Sanchez shares thoughts on Tebow

Stephen A. Smith blasts Tom Brady

Kris Humphries apologizes for Jenner tweet

Five most boring NFL prime time matchups for 2015

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.