NBA preseason schedule: Bobcats, Sixers start action very early

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Philly and Charlotte tip off at 11:30 in a special exhibition dedicated to local students.

It's still preseason in the NBA, which means we can allow for some weird things to happen. On Thursday morning at 11:30 p.m. ET, the Charlotte Bobcats and Philadelphia 76ers tip off from Time Warner Cable Arena for the ninth annual Cool School Field Trip, a yearly reward for middle school students across the Carolinas in the form of poorly played exhibition hoops.

While there's nothing especially exciting about this game other than the early start, the hot start from Evan Turner this preseason bears some watching. The former No. 2 pick has averaged 19.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in four exhibition games this month and will be needed to shoulder a major load for the rebuilding Sixers.

Beyond that, we have six other games going on Thursday night. A matchup between the Heat and Nets from Barclays Center highlights that slate, while a couple of games on non-home courts should also be interesting. In Baltimore, the Wizards and Knicks will tip off, while Tulsa hosts the Thunder and Pelicans later in the night.

With the Nets boasting a reloaded roster this season featuring Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko in addition to the old crew, the Heat could have a new competitor for Eastern Conference supremacy this season. Facing the Heat for the first time, we'll see how Brooklyn matches up against the defending champions.

Here's the full schedule:

Game Time (ET) TV
Philadelphia 76ers at Charlotte Bobcats
11:30 a.m.
New York Knicks at Washington Wizards
7 p.m. CSN Baltimore
Detroit Pistons at Cleveland Cavaliers
7 p.m. SportsTime Ohio
San Antonio Spurs at Atlanta Hawks
7:30 p.m.
New Orleans Pelicans at Oklahoma City Thunder 8 p.m. Fox Sports Oklahoma
Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets
8 p.m. TNT
Phoenix Suns at Sacramento Kings
10 p.m.

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