NBA Games of the Week
Cavaliers at Knicks | Tuesday, Nov. 25, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBA TV)
You may have heard that the Knicks just completed two trades designed to clear salary-cap space for 2010, when LeBron James and several other stars could be available in free agency. So, when New York area reporters speak with LeBron before the game at Madison Square Garden, they won't be interested in his evaluation of how the Knicks will do with newcomers Al Harrington, Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas.
Hornets at Nuggets | Thursday, Nov. 27, 10:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
The conventional wisdom was that Chauncey Billups' play in Detroit had slipped the previous few seasons. But he has looked as solid as ever in helping Denver win eight of 10 games since he was acquired for Allen Iverson on Nov. 3. Billups gets a Thanksgiving test here against Chris Paul, the NBA's early leader in assists and steals.
Heat at Suns | Friday, Nov. 28, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Shaq faces the Heat for the first time since being dealt to Phoenix before last season's trade deadline. After arriving in Phoenix, the injury-plagued Shaq ripped the Heat's training staff. He also took shots at his former teammates, saying, "I love playing for this coach [in Phoenix] and I love playing with these guys. We have professionals who know what to do. No one is asking me to play with Chris Quinn or Ricky Davis. I'm actually on a team again." (Davis has since moved on the Clippers, while Quinn remains as Miami's backup point guard.)
Trail Blazers at Pistons | Sunday, Nov. 30, 3 p.m. ET
The young Blazers are trying to establish themselves in the NBA's upper crust. There's no better way for Brandon Roy and Co. to do that than by beating quality teams on the road. This game will come a week after Detroit got a wake-up call in a 106-80 home loss to the lowly Timberwolves.
Raptors at Lakers | Sunday, Nov. 30, 9:30 p.m. ET
Any matchup between these teams sparks a flashback to Jan. 22, 2006, when Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in a 122-104 victory against Toronto in Los Angeles. Kobe has been relatively subdued early this season, with only one 30-point performance in the Lakers' first 12 games, but the defending Western Conference champions haven't needed big scoring outbursts from him yet.