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In-Season Tournament preview: Rookie rivals headline Spurs-Thunder showdown

The NBA's inaugural in-season tournament began last week with two rounds of games seeing new courts, close matches and exciting events unfold.

The second week of the new competition is upon us with games to look forward to on both Tuesday and Friday and we have picked out highlights on both days' schedules.

Tuesday's schedule:

AwayHomeLocationTime (ET)TV
Miami HeatCharlotte Hornets

Spectrum Center

Charlotte, NC

7pmNBA League Pass
Atlanta HawksDetroit Pistons

Little Caesars Arena

Detroit, MI

7pmNBA League Pass
Indiana PacersPhiladelphia 76ers

Wells Fargo Center

Philadelphia, PA

7.30pmNBA League Pass
Orlando MagicBrooklyn Nets

Barclays Center

Brooklyn, NY

7.30pmNBA League Pass
San Antonio SpursOklahoma City Thunder

Paycom Center

Oklahoma City, OK

Dallas MavericksNew Orleans Pelicans

Smoothie King Center

New Orleans, LA

8pmNBA League Pass
Portland Trail BlazersUtah Jazz

Delta Center

Salt Lake City, UT

9pmNBA League Pass
Los Angeles ClippersDenver Nuggets

Ball Arena

Denver, CO

Minnesota TimberwolvesGolden State Warriors

Chase Center

San Francisco, CA

10pmNBA League Pass
Memphis GrizzliesLos Angeles Lakers Arena

Los Angeles, CA

10.30pmNBA League Pass

Rookies to steal the show in Oklahoma

Tuesday will give us our first clash between the two current favorites for the Rookie of the Year award, Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren, when the Oklahoma City Thunder host the San Antonio Spurs at the Paycom Center. 

This year's number one pick in the draft, Wembanyama has been as impressive as many suspected he would be, already notching a 38 point haul against a strong Phoenix Suns team and averaging 2.4 blocks per game. 

He is favored for the award, but faces an interesting contest on Tuesday against 2022's number two pick Chet Holmgren. 

The OKC center missed the entirety of last season, hence why he is eligible for the honor. Holmgren has bounced back to average 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocks a game whilst shooting 50% from three. 

Those numbers are slightly below his French rival's 19, eight and two but they are closely matched and their clash will provide the bulk of the action on Tuesday. 

The Thunder won all three meetings with the Spurs last season, and will likely do the same led by the quality of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Still, this match is a must-watch as the two young seven-footers could shape the future of the league, so it is worth seeing which one comes out on top in this first clash of the campaign. 

Edwards and Curry to battle in the Bay

The Minnesota Timberwolves landed a sixth straight win on Sunday night when beating the Golden State Warriors 116-110. The Dubs have a chance to get revenge when they meet again on Tuesday. 

The Timberwolves have been one of the surprise packages in the West so far this season, sitting third in the conference after seven wins from nine games with Anthony Edwards stealing the show in Minnesota. 

The young guard averages 28 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game this term and notched 33 points on Sunday, with his mixture of high-energy drives and explosive dunks making for box office basketball. 

However, he was not the highest scorer in that game, as Steph Curry managed 38 of his side's 110 points as the 35-year-old continues to show no signs of slowing down just yet. 

The sixth-placed Warriors will be out for revenge while the Timberwolves will want to maintain their play and, if Sunday's close game is anything to go by, this is a must-watch from Tuesday's schedule.

Friday's Schedule:

AwayHomeLocationTime (ET)TV
Milwaukee BucksCharlotte Hornets

Spectrum Center

Charlotte, NC

7pmNBA League Pass
New York KnicksWashington Wizards

Capital One Arena

Washington, DC

7pmNBA League Pass
Philadelphia 76ersAtlanta Hawks

State Farm Arena

Atlanta, GA

7.30pmNBA League Pass
Detroit PistonsCleveland Cavaliers 

Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

Cleveland, OH

7.30pmNBA League Pass
Boston CelticsToronto Raptors

Scotiabank Arena

Toronto, ON

7.30pmNBA League Pass
Sacramento KingsSan Antonio Spurs

Frost Bank Center

San Antonio, TX

Orlando MagicChicago Bulls

United Center

Chicago, IL

8pmNBA League Pass
Phoenix SunsUtah Jazz

Delta Center

Salt Lake City, UT

Los Angeles LakersPortland Trail Blazers

Moda Center

Portland, OR

10pmNBA League Pass
Houston RocketsLos Angeles Clippers Arena

Los Angeles, CA

10.30pmNBA League Pass

Celtics can continue conquering Canada

The Boston Celtics have unsurprisingly started the season brilliantly, winning seven of their opening nine games, and their strong form looks set to continue in Toronto when they take on the Raptors.

Joe Mazzulla's side landed a dominant 117-94 win over the Raptors on Saturday and won all four meetings last season, suggesting a win for the traveling team is likely in Canada. 

The Raptors are 11th in the East and with underperforming stars all over the court, specifically Pascal Siakam and Gary Trent Jr, there will be serious conversations about the future of the franchise beginning to creep in if something doesn't change soon. 

The Celtics are an even stronger outfit this time around thanks to the arrivals of Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday and should have no issues dispatching their hosts and demonstrating their championship credentials on Friday.  

Houston to add to Harden's hard times?

James Harden's headline-making move to the Los Angeles Clippers has not quite gone to plan, with the two-time-MVP averaging just 13 points and four assists per game since his arrival. 

Those numbers are well below his best and his poor performances are costing his side, with the Clippers winless since Harden's debut. There may be more misery on the cards at the hands of his former employers, the highflying Houston Rockets. 

Friday's visitors are currently fourth in the West and, led by young stars Alperen Sengun and Jalen Green, could exit the Arena with another win on their record. 

The youth of Houston is currently outperforming the vast experience of a Clippers roster including Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook and Harden, and could leave Clips coach Ty Lue with more issues to solve on Friday. 

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