By Andrew Sharp

Have you seen the Heat lately? They’ve climbed the Eastern Conference standings over the past few weeks, and they are playing as well as anyone in the league right now. Of the most successful lineups in the NBA since the All-Star Break, two of the top five belong to Miami. One features younger stars like Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, and Hassan Whiteside. And the other is a crew of veterans—Stoudemire, Luol Deng, Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, and the newly-signed Joe Johnson—all of whom were supposed to be washed up as recently as December.

It’s a pretty fun mix. I was among the many who doubted the Heat before the season, but with a combination of young players exceeding expectations and veterans refusing to disappear, things are clicking right now.

Amar’e Stoudemire, now starting at center and baffling observers with his production, is as good of a symbol as any for what’s happened with this Heat season.

We caught up with Amar’e earlier this week, on a plane to New Orleans. That night, he had 16 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks. That afternoon, we talked about the Heat’s chemistry, Suns memories, art in Miami, Trainwreck and more.

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