The 2020 NBA playoffs are now just around the corner, but before we get to April and then eventually to June’s NBA finals, there’s plenty of regular season action still to be played. Follow our guide and you can watch an NBA live stream online no matter wherever you are – there are even some legit free NBA live stream options for basketball fans to enjoy.
NBA 2019/20 playoff dates
We’re nearing the end of the regular season and the 2020 NBA playoffs are set to start on Saturday, April 18. Game 1 of this year’s NBA Finals is scheduled for Saturday, June 21, so basketball fans have two months of playoff action to look forward to this spring.
So far, the 2019/20 NBA season has mostly gone according to plan. Led by last year’s league MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo – or ‘The Greek Freak’, if you prefer – the Milwaukee Bucks currently enjoy a comfortable lead atop the Eastern Conference. Last year’s NBA champions, the Toronto Raptors, are locked in a battle with the Boston Celtics for the number no.2 seed, with the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers lurking just behind and all likely play-off teams.
On the other side of the country, few would bet against the Los Angeles Lakers wrapping up the Western Conference sooner rather than later. Led by potential GOAT LeBron James and with superstar big man Anthony David upfront, they boast arguably the most star-studded lineup in the league – consider that Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo aren’t even in the team’s first-choice starting 5 and you begin to appreciate just how talented the Lakers are this year.
When the season started, there were no less than 1,230 regular season NBA games to look forward to. That number might have now dwindled, but what’s left are the ones that really matter, so keep reading to find out how to watch an NBA live stream online from pretty much anywhere in the world.
How to live stream the NBA and watch online from outside your country
Scroll down for NBA live stream details in a number of countries where basketball is particularly popular. But before that, know that if you can’t watch an NBA game on your usual TV channel or streaming service, it might be due to a coverage blackout (in the US) or a geo-blocking restriction (in international markets).
When this is the case, the simplest and most reliable solution is to use a VPN service to change your IP address to a difference location. This will generally let you tune in to your local coverage, just as you would from home, and means you don’t have to trawl the sketchier corners of the internet for an illegal stream.
Our software experts have test more than 100 VPNs and it’s ExpressVPN that comes out on top. There are plenty of reasons why, but the main factors are its speed, security and simplicity to use – you can get started in no time at all.
We also like the fact that you can try it out effectively for free, thanks to its 30 day money-back guarantee. You can use it with loads of devices at once including Smart TVs, Fire TV Stick, PC, Mac, iPhone, Android phone, iPads, tablets etc. And if you subscribe to ExpressVPN now, you’ll also get 49% off the usual price as well as 3 months extra FREE.
VPNs are ridiculously easy to set up and use and aren’t just for watching the NBA abroad – they’re a great first line of defence for your online activity and many people use them to get around other geo-blocked websites or to access foreign Netflix content.
How to watch an NBA live stream for free in 2020
UK basketball fans may be the luckiest in the world this season, as they can tune into a free NBA live stream of selected games via the Sky Sports YouTube channel – in general, Saturday’s showcase games are what the network offers up by way of watching the NBA for free online.
However, Brits on holiday or travelling abroad for work will find that geo-blocking rears its ugly head, even on YouTube. When that’s the case, UK residents shoud consider using a Virtual Private Network to point their IP address back to Blighty and enjoy all that the Sky Sports YouTube channel has to offer as usual. Of these, ExpressVPN is the best and offers a free trial so you can see if it’s the right solution for you.
Upcoming NBA games you can live stream for free on YouTube include
- Saturday, March 7: Houston Rockets @ Charlotte Hornets
- Saturday, March 14: Phoenix Suns @ Dallas Mavericks
- Saturday, March 21: Boston Celtics @ Brooklyn Nets
- Saturday, March 28: Cleveland Cavaliers @ Brooklyn Nets
- Saturday, April 4: Oklahoma City Thunder @ LA Clippers
- Saturday, April 11: Detroit Pistons @ Dallas Mavericks
NBA League Pass: the best way to live stream the NBA online?
As we’re about to explain, there are a number of options for streaming the NBA online. But one that keeps cropping up is NBA League Pass, the league’s official streaming service.
If you want to follow your favorite team all season long or even if you want to keep up with every team in the league, it’s a great way to watch the NBA from all over the world.
In the US, an NBA League Pass subscription starts at just $29.99 a year, which will let you live stream all the NBA games aired on TV online. A $59.99 annual subscription will let you follow your team all season, or you can up the ante to $99.99 a year and watch all of the league’s teams in action. The most expensive tier features a $124.99 outlay for 12-months the same access, but without any commercials. However, you should bear in mind, unlike its international equivalents, NBA League Pass streaming in the US is still subject to blackouts
The service offers a different packages for international markets, but generally speaking, NBA fans outside the US have the option of Team Choice access – which costs £14.99 a month and lets you stream every NBA game live for a specific team – or a full League Pass subscription priced at £24.99 a month. That lets you watch every single NBA game online. Yes, that means all 1,230 of them, as well as all the playoffs and NBA Finals action. You might lose some sleep in the process, but for diehard fans, it may be a no-brainer.
As ever, if you’re out of the country you subscribed to NBA League Pass in, it’s likely you can use a VPN to get around these restrictions – based on comprehensive testing, we rate ExpressVPN as the best and it offers a free trial so you can check it out, no strings attached.
How to live stream the NBA in the US
In order to watch the NBA on TV in the US this season, you’ll need either a cable package or a streaming service subscription that gives you access to ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, ABC, TNT, NBA TV and your Fox Sports and NBC Sports regional sports networks (RSNs).
If you already have cable, it’s worth reviewing which channels are in your package and possibly adding the ones you don’t have. However, if you’re a pure cord cutter, don’t worry as there are a number of streaming services that give you access to all the channels you’ll need to follow your favorite NBA team this season.
Here are a few of our favorite streaming services for watching basketball online:
- Sling TV from $25 per month. If you decide to go with Sling TV’s Sling Orange package, you’ll get access to ESPN and TNT but won’t be able to watch any regional sports networks. The service’s Sling Blue package does include NBC Sports regional sports network but only for the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards. It’s worth noting that Sling TV does not carry ABC nor does it have any Fox Sports RSNs. You can also add NBA TV to your package with the $10 a month Sports Extra add-on.
- Hulu with Live TV $45 per month – Hulu With Live TV gives you access to eSPN, TNT and ABC as well as to regional Fox and NBC Sports. However, the service does not offer NBA TV.
- FuboTV $55 per month – FuboTV is a sports-focused streaming service that gives you access to TNT, NBA TV, Fox Sports and NBC Sports RSNs. However, it doesn’t include ESPN or ABC.
- YouTube TV $50 per month – With YouTube TV you’ll get access ESPN, TNT, ABC and NBA TV along with local Fox Sports and NBC Sports regional sports networks.
- AT&T Now $50 a month – AT&T Now’s Plus package gives you access to ESPN, TNT and ABC but does not offer NBA TV. By upgrading to the service’s $70 per month Max package you can also get access to a regional Fox or NBC Sports RSN.
- NBA League Pass from a super-affordable $29.99 a year. That gets you streaming access to live NBA games that are aired on TV – or you can get a team-specific package for $59.99 a year that lets you watch every out-of-market game online,.
Remember that if you subscribe to one of these services but find yourself outside of the US for the big game, you can tune is as usual by using a good VPN service.
How to watch the NBA: live stream games in the UK
UK basketball fans can watch the NBA and live stream this season’s biggest games on Sky Sports. As a Sky Sports subscriber, you’ll get access to coverage of both the NBA and WNBA, with the Sky Go app allowing you to follow all the action when you’re on-the-go.
Due to the time difference, most NBA games will be shown in the early hours of the morning but with a Sky box, you can record the games and watch them later. Sky Sports will also air repeat games the following day without any commercial breaks or pregame commentary. In addition to basketball, you’ll also be able to watch the Premier League, NFL, EFL and more. Featured games are aired on weekends at more sociable hours, though – tip-offs range from 6pm to 10pm GMT for these Saturday and Sunday showdowns.
Not interested in subscribing to Sky Sports but still want to watch the NBA and be able to live stream the basketball? Don’t worry, as you can also purchase a Sky Sports pass from Now TV with daily, weekly and monthly options all available off contract from just £5.99 a month for a mobile-only pass.
Also remember that NBA League Pass is available in the UK and for die-hard basketball fans, it should be your first choice as it allows you to follow your favourite team – or even every team – in the league, all season long.
Live stream the NBA: How to watch in Canada
Canadian basketball fans looking to watch the NBA on TV this season will need a cable package with the following channels: SportsNet, TSN 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 as well as NBA TV Canada. Adding these channels to your current package can get pricey as many of this season’s games will be shown on premium channels.
If you’d prefer to stream basketball online, you can subscribe to SportsNet Now for $19.99 per month and this will allow you to livestream over 200 NBA games including the Raptors and the NBA Playoffs. If you just want to watch a few basketball games, the service also offers a 7-day pass for $9.99. Alternatively, a TSN subscription will also set you back $19.99 per month.
However, neither of these options will get you the same coverage as NBA League pass which allows you to stream one team, all the teams in the league or even all teams without commercials depending on which package you choose.
How to watch NBA basketball in Australia
If you plan on watching the NBA on TV this season in Australia, then you’ll need a cable package that gives you access to ESPN as the network owns the country’s NBA broadcast rights. You can get a Foxtel subscription with the sports package included that will allow you to watch all of this season’s games on ESPN. It’s also worth noting that the free-to-air broadcaster SBS will also be showing basketball games on Saturday and Sunday this season.
Don’t want to sign up for Foxtel just to watch the NBA this season? Then the over-the-top service Kayo Sports has you covered as it will allow you to stream all of ESPN’s NBA content. It costs between $25 and $35 depending on which package you choose but new customers will be able to test it out for themselves thanks to the service’s 14-day FREE TRIAL.
NBA League pass is also available in Australia in case you want to watch your favorite team or even teams all season long.
NBA playoff predictions 2020
As we’ve said, the Milwaukee Bucks are odds-on to win the Eastern Conference, with the only real regular season drama left being the battle for the no.2 seed – it would appear to be a straight up duel between the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raports, but the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers are all also in the frame.
The Western Conference is a bit more interesting, as despite a seemingly unbeatable roster, the Lakers face fierce competition for the no.1 seed from local rivals the LA Clippers. The ‘other’ Los Angeles team boast pair of their own superstars – Kawhi Leonard, formerly of the Toronto Raptors and last year’s NBA Finals MVP, and the supremely talented Paul George.
Also in contention in the Western Conference and likely to find themselves enjoying playoff basketball come April are the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, and Utah Jazz. The Oklahoma City Thunder can’t be ruled out, either, and nor can the Dallas Mavericks – not if Slovenian superstar Luka Doncic keeps playing as well as he is.
Who won the NBA finals in 2019?
The Toronto Raptors are this year’s defending champions, having dethroned the Golden State Warriors in 2019. In a scintillating NBA Finals, the Raptors sealed the deal in game 6 of the best of seven series, beating the Warriors 114-110.
The game 6 victory was thanks to a fantastic all-round team effort that featured 22 points from (then) star player Kawhi Leonard, 26 points from guard Kyle Lowry and a huge 26 point, 10 rebound effort from forward Pascal Siakam. It represented the first time in Raptors franchise history that the team had won the NBA championship and it’s safe to say Toronto partied hard that night.