Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers debut and more things to watch in tonight's NBA action

Zach LaVine, Ben Simmons, LeBron James and Damian Lillard (NBA Getty Images)

After a busy Wednesday night of action that saw 22 teams open their season, NBA Opening Week continues with three games on Thursday night.

A pair of games at 8:00 p.m. ET kick off the fun as the Bulls travel to Philadelphia to take on Ben Simmons and the Sixers while the Heat look to bounce back from an opening-night loss with a win over John Wall and the Washington Wizards.

The Bulls-76ers game will air on TSN2 and the Heat-Wizards game can be seen on NBATV Canada.

All focus shifts to Portland at 10:30 p.m. ET when LeBron James makes his Lakers debut against Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers. The Lakers-Trail Blazers game airs on TSN2 following the Bulls and 76ers.

Here's what to watch for in each game…

Chicago vs. Philadelphia | Miami vs. Washington | Los Angeles vs. Portland

Chicago Bulls vs. Philadelphia 76ers - 8 p.m. ET, TSN2

It's Philadelphia's home opener, and it looks to bounce back from an 18-point opening-night loss at the hands of Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics. The Sixers struggled offensively against the Celtics, shooting just 39.1 percent from the field and committing 16 turnovers in the loss.

Ben Simmons filled the stat sheet with 19 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists while Joel Embiid posted a 23-point, 10-rebound double-double. JJ Redick was the only other Sixer to finish in double-figures, scoring 16 points off the bench.

While you can expect a similar impact from that trio, look for improved performances from Dario Saric, who struggled with foul trouble against Boston, and Markelle Fultz, who is still adjusting to his new role as a starter.

It's opening night for the Bulls, who seek a fresh start with a young, talented core. Zach LaVine looked to be back to 100 percent in the preseason, where he averaged 17.8 points while shooting 51.7 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from deep. He leads a starting lineup that will also feature Cameron Payne, Justin Holiday, Bobby Portis and No. 7 overall pick Wendell Carter, Jr.

Free agent acquisition Jabari Parker, who seeks a career resurgence in his hometown of Chicago, will begin the season as a reserve. The Bulls will be without last year's rookie standout Lauri Markkanen, who is out with an elbow injury.

Miami Heat vs. Washington Wizards - 8 p.m. ET, NBATV Canada

It's the second night of a back-to-back for the Heat, who are coming off of a three-point loss to the Orlando Magic.

All-Star guard Goran Dragic stood out for Miami Wednesday, finishing with 26 points on 9-for-14 shooting from the field, four rebounds and four assists. In the last season opener of his career, Heat guard Dwyane Wade scored nine points (on 3-for-13 shooting) and pulled down 11 rebounds in just over 26 minutes of action.

Miami will look to clean things up against Washington, as it committed 17 turnovers against Orlando that led to 25 points. The Heat will be without Dion Waiters and James Johnson while Justise Winslow is doubtful with hamstring tightness. Sharpshooter Wayne Ellington, who missed last night's game, is questionable with ankle soreness.

The Wizards open the season tonight, and free agent acquisition Dwight Howard is listed as questionable with gluteal soreness. Washington's All-Star backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal look to set the tone early as they did throughout the preseason.

Washington boasts its deepest roster in years and will look to put its depth on full display in tonight's season opener. Look for newly-acquired players such as Jeff Green and Austin Rivers to make their presence felt.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers - 10:30 p.m. ET, TSN2

Plenty of people circled this date as soon as the NBA schedule was announced - it's LeBron James' debut as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

LeBron and company travel to the Moda Center to take on a Trail Blazers squad that has plenty to prove after playoff disappointment. While it is James' fourth career debut with a new team, he still seeks his first win, as he is 0-3 up to this point. The Lakers have one of the more intriguing rosters in the league filled with talent - both young and experienced.

While it is clear that LeBron will lead the way, there are a number of players who can step up for LA, most notably Brandon Ingram, who could make his next step into stardom with a big game to open the season.

With the spotlight on the Lakers, many might overlook that it is opening night for the Trail Blazers as well. Portland is coming off a season in which it won 49 games and earned the West's No. 3 seed. A playoff letdown caused many to forget how well the team played in the regular season and the Trail Blazers have been counted out before the year has even begun.

Behind the elite backcourt play of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, the Blazers look to build upon last year's regular season success. Portland made a number of additions this offseason in attempts to retool for the upcoming year, but the answer could very well be on their roster - second-year big man Zach Collins is primed for a bigger role and should prove as much in the season opener.

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