San Antonio Spurs

What to watch for in the second night of the NBA season

SGA, Giannis, DeMar (NBA Getty Images)

The highly anticipated season debut for Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors against the Cleveland Cavaliers will be at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time on TSN tonight. We'll have you covered with live updates for that game throughout the night.

As for the rest of the league, there is a 10-game slate packed with star power, storylines and rookie debuts.

Let's start with the other game that will be on national television...

Minnesota Timberwolves at San Antonio Spurs, 8:30 p.m. ET - NBA TV Canada

DeMar DeRozan will make his debut with the Spurs as they host the Timberwolves and disgruntled superstar Jimmy Butler.

This matchup includes two of the biggest stories of this offseason. DeRozan was traded by the Raptors after spending his first nine NBA seasons in Toronto. While he was upset at the time, DeRozan appears to have come to terms with the next step in his career in San Antonio.

The Butler saga has been the more prominent story lately, but he will play on opening night despite all the trade rumors and in-house issues with the Timberwolves.

The rest of the games on Wednesday will be available for free on NBA League Pass. Here are the things to watch for on the second night of NBA action...

MVP Candidates on display

The night will begin at 7 p.m. with rising MVP-candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks taking on Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets. Antetokounmpo had an opening night to remember a season ago, posting 37 points, 13 rebounds and three steals in a win over the Boston Celtics. You can expect that he'll get his MVP campaign started off right on Wednesday.

At 8 p.m., two more MVP candidates will go head-to-head when Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans take on the reigning MVP James Harden and the Houston Rockets. Neither Davis nor Harden are strangers to big opening nights, as Davis had 33 points and 18 rebounds a season ago and Harden posted 27 points, 11 assists and six boards to start the 2017-18 season.

Rookie debuts

12 of the 15 lottery picks from the 2018 Draft will make their NBA debut on Wednesday. Most notably, at 7:30 p.m., Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks will travel to Madison Square Garden to take on Kevin Knox and the New York Knicks.

The other big rookie matchup will be at 10:30 p.m. ET when Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks take on the No.1 overall pick Deandre Ayton and the Phoenix Suns. You will see other youngsters like Jaren Jackson Jr., Marvin Bagley, Mo Bamba, Miles Bridges, Mikal Bridges and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sprinkled throughout the night as well.

Head-to-head player matchups

I've already mentioned Butler vs. DeRozan, Harden vs. Davis and Doncic vs. Ayton, but another matchup to look out for is between two Canadian natives: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jamal Murray.

Murray and the Nuggets missed the playoffs by one game a season ago and the Clippers are hoping Gilgeous-Alexander can be the missing piece to get them back to the playoffs. You can see the two Canadian guards go head-to-head when the Clippers host the Nuggets at the STAPLES Center at 10:30 p.m.

Other things to keep an eye out for

At 7 p.m., the Brooklyn Nets take on the Detroit Pistons, the Memphis Grizzlies face off against the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat travel to Orlando to take on the Magic.

Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson are fully healthy, so it will be interesting to see how the Pistons look under new head coach Dwane Casey. The 2018 Most Improved Player Victor Oladipo will try to prove his Pacers are a top team in the East and Dwyane Wade will make his final season opener of his career in Orlando.

As for the late game, the Utah Jazz take on the Sacramento Kings at 10 p.m. Last year's Rookie of the Year runner-up Donovan Mitchell and Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert will try to get the Jazz off to a hot start in a season where many believe they'll be a sleeper in the Western Conference.

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