SI PICK OF¬†THE WEEK
Everything about them is large: their shoe sizes, their personalities, their likelihood of getting a restaurant table with no reservation. The top center in the East, Miami's Shaquille O'Neal, hosts the best in the West, Houston's Yao Ming, as the Rockets get a tough road trip out of the way early. Shaq has the advantage in head-to-head record (his teams have won eight of 13 against Yao) and buckaroos--the $100 million extension he signed in the off-season tops the $75 million Yao pocketed from the Rockets this summer. TNT 8 p.m.
On shelves: The Answer IX
Allen Iverson's latest Reebok sneaker costs $125 and has a switch that allows its Pump technology to be turned on and off. In light of David Stern's new dress policy, here's a suggestion for number X: the Answer Loafer.
No. 14 Wisconsin at No. 10 Penn State
Log on to joepamustgo.com and it's morphed into a search engine; at firejoepaterno.com the operators are promising to turn the site into a Paterno (right) shrine. Times have changed for the once-maligned coach, whose Nittany Lions (8-1) welcome Wisconsin (8-1), which is looking for its fourth Big Ten title in coach Barry Alvarez's 16th--and last--season. ABC 3:30 p.m.
Jeff Lacy vs. Scott Pemberton
Forget the ho-hum heavyweight division. The action is at 168 pounds. Lacy (20-0), the IBF middleweight champ, was supposed to fight WBO super middleweight champ Joe Calzaghe, but Calzaghe broke his hand in September. Instead, he'll fight a KO specialist with a record of 23-2-1. The judges might want to take the night off: This one is probably not going the distance. Lacy (right) has KO'd 16 of his 20 opponents, and Pemberton has floored five of his last six. Showtime 9 p.m
Eagles at Redskins
The two NFC foes are in need of relief. Philadelphia got clobbered 49-21 by Denver on Sunday--a successful outing compared with Washington's trip to the Meadowlands. (The Giants won 36-0.) Things could have been even worse for the Redskins were it not for linebacker LaVar Arrington (left), who emerged from coach Joe Gibbs's doghouse to return to the lineup. ESPN 8:30 p.m.
Colts at Patriots
You can forgive Indianapolis players if they have worn out their pens circling this date on the calendar; for most of them the 2005 season begins tonight. The Colts have lost nine straight in Foxborough, which The Indianapolis Star 's Bob Kravitz called "a suburban hell where Indy's hopes go to die." Quarterback Peyton Manning (page 31) is having another strong season, but that's never helped him against New England; he's 0-7 as a starter versus the Pats. ABC 9 p.m.
HSBC Champions Tournament
Golf's silly season comes to Malaysia, where Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh will headline an international field that includes 24-year-old Marc Warren, the European Tour's No. 1 player, and South Korea's Choi Kyung-ju, who won two PGA events last month. At stake is a $5 million purse.
ELIOT J. SCHECHTER/GETTY IMAGES (SHAQ AND YAO)
BRIAN BAHR/GETTY IMAGES (PATERNO)
BILL KOSTROUN/REEBOK/AP (IVERSON)
JOSEPH MANCINO/WIREIMAGE.COM (ARRINGTON)
SCOTT AUDETTE/REUTERS (LACY)