Three NBA games on today’s Veteran Day slate. New Orleans travels to New Jersey as Byron Scott looks for revenge. Sacramento will go to Utah to get massacred. Game of the Night goes to Cleveland at Denver. LeBron vs. Carmelo. Shouldn’t this be a bigger deal? Especially seeing as how they only play each other twice a season? Beware of Melo going off. I said it in the summer and I said it in the first week of the season…I strongly believe this is the Year of Melo. He will not get to the Finals like D-Wade and LeBron did, but this is his year to dominate. Tonight will may be the night, I’m interested to see if they guard each other the whole game or just down the stretch.

Time to look at this game a little deeper. Cleveland is at the end of a week long, six game West Coast road trip. The fatigue will absolutely be there as this is the sixth game, the second of a back-to-back. Add in the altitude factor courtesy of the Rocky Mountains and this won’t be too much fun for LeBron and co. Denver on the other hand is coming home after a somewhat disappointing 4-game East Coast road trip in which they split. They also displayed a split personality. We saw that the Nugs main Achilles Heel is defense. They surrendered 100+ three times on the trip, including 46 in one quarter to the Indiana Pacers. Yikes. This is clearly a team that is really missing Nene more than people are thinking. In addition to their lack of defense, I say they are missing a third option. Teams can really hone in on Melo and AI because the Nuggets don’t have a consistent perimeter shooter or a real low-post threat. I’m interested to see which Denver team shows up.

Remember my semi-rant about the Bulls yesterday? (If not, scroll down and read it). Well…turns out I wasn’t that far off. Sam Smith drops his two cents as does K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. The only difference is I won’t be so quick to praise the Bulls when they inevitably win another game in semi-impressive fashion.

Forget what I said about Altanta’s biggest problems being youth, poor shot selection and lack of post play. Turns out their biggest problem could be Josh Smith. Did he not get suspended last year for conduct detrimental to the team? Nothing like publicly cussing your coach out and then getting sent to the locker room for it. For a young team that is hoping to reach the playoffs this is a major league hurdle. This isn’t the Suns where veteran leaders can refocus a guy like Shawn Marion. Whose going to step up to Josh Smith who he actually would respect? Exactly.

Big Baby has to shut his blog down. This had to come from the higher ups in Boston. I could see why a college basketball player couldn’t have his own blog, but pro athletes practice, play and…well that’s about it. It’s not like there is zero free time, so I for one refuse to buy that he wants to refocus on his game. As soon as Scalabrine and co. come back from injury his minutes will more than likely shrink.

Stein’s Week 2 Power Rankings came out over at ESPN. My thoughts are as follows:

  • Blazers move from #27 to #16 and earn ‘Team of the Week’ honors. I still refuse to do anything but sit here and smile.
  • I’m not sure the Spurs should drop from #1 all year. They’re really that good.
  • We’ll really see what the Rockets are made of this week when they play the three Western Conference superpowers.
  • I’m not sure how Dallas stays put at #5 despite losses to Atlanta and Portland and a near loss at GS while Detroit falls from #3 to #6.
  • If I were doing the rankings I’d have put Seattle over Minnesota just because they have more fight in them.