THE WEEK AHEAD: 2 GAMES

Wednesday at New Orleans, 5:30 p.m. PST, Channel 9 -- Late-night parties, blue puffs of smoke, bands playing, raucous times for everyone and a little basketball. Wait, the Portland Trail Blazer game is next month.

Friday at Houston, 6:30 p.m. PST, ESPN -- Shaquille O'Neal versus Yao Ming, by which time Yao will have been named starter for the Western Conference All-Stars. O'Neal has been gracious ... so far.

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