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How to watch, what to watch for in NBA preseason opening night

We take a look at the games on slate for the opening night of preseason for December 11th.

Paul George of the LA Clippers looks on during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on July 30, 2020 at The Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA returns with preseason action beginning on Friday with five games. We’ve got a couple of decent matchups, though the premier game on the slate won’t feature two of the reigning champions. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are not expected to play for the Los Angeles Lakers in their preseason opener against the Los Angeles Clippers. We should see the rest of those rosters take the court, however.

Among the other matchups, we get to see Trae Young and the new-look Hawks take on the Magic. Cole Anthony is getting a lot of love in the Rookie of the Year market. He’s got a chance to make some noise for Orlando. The Rockets won’t have James Harden in the lineup because he still needs to test negative for Covid-19 a few more times. They’ll be facing the Bulls in Billy Donovan’s coaching debut for Chicago. Another anticipated rookie debut if Obi Toppin for the Knicks and Killian Hayes for the Pistons.

Those are just a few names to look for when the preseason kicks off. Here’s the full schedule.

NBA preseason schedule for Dec. 11

Final: Orlando Magic 116, Atlanta Hawks 112
Final: New York Knicks 90, Detroit Pistons 84
Final: Houston Rockets 125, Chicago Bulls 104
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 10:00 p.m.
Sacramento Kings vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. ESPN

Lakers confirm starting lineup — Dennis Schroder, Wesley Matthews, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell

Bulls confirm starting lineup — Coby White, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Thaddeus Young, Wendell Carter Jr.

Note: Thad Young was scratched from the starting lineup. Otto Porter Jr. is only expected to play in the first half, per Billy Donovan.

Rockets confirm starting lineup — John Wall, Eric Gordon, Danuel House Jr., Jae’Sean Tate, DeMarcus Cousins

Knicks confirm starting lineup — Elfrid Payton, Alec Burks, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Nerlens Noel

Magic confirm starting lineup —Markelle Fultz, Evan Fournier, Dwayne Bacon, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic

Hawks confirm starting lineup — Trae Young, Bogdan Bogdanovic, DeAndre Hunter, John Collins, Clint Capela