It’s finally time for the hometown favorite Miami Heat to play at home after the NBA All-Star break and four away games. Twelve days between home games can mean one of two things: The players are ready to tear through the second half of the season, or they’ll prove that defending champions can simply sleepwalk their way back into the top slot of the playoff seeds. At the very least, fans will get to witness LeBron James spend his February bending the NBA over his knee and spanking it like it was caught stealing the neighbor’s pie. Ten years from now, when James is preparing for retirement (we hope in a Heat jersey), this stretch of games will be one of so many memorable moments that will inevitably define his career. The rarity of what he’s accomplishing is worth the price of admission. Throw in the fact that he’ll be doing it against the city that said goodbye to the superstar by burning his jersey in the streets, and you’ve got the stuff of basketball fantasies.
Sun., Feb. 24, 6 p.m., 2013