While the threat of coronavirus remains, sports are finding new ways to return. The latest one to make that return is the world-famous NBA league, which has now entered the playoffs stage. Here’s how you can watch it down under.
It all started on 11 March when the NBA made the call to suspend the 2020 season amid a deadly new virus spreading across the world.
After 141 days of no basketball, it finally made its return on 30 July but it was a little different.
How is the NBA 2020 season different?
First of all, only 22 teams that were within six games of the playoffs before the season was halted, will return. Those teams include:
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Toronto Raptors
- Boston Celtics
- Miami Heat
- Indiana Pacers
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Brooklyn Nets
- Orlando Magic
- Washington Wizards
- Los Angeles Lakers
- LA Clippers
- Denver Nuggets
- Utah Jazz
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Houston Rockets
- Dallas Mavericks
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Portland Trail Blazers
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Sacramento Kings
- San Antonio Spurs
- Phoenix Suns
Notable teams sitting out include the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons.
Adding to that, each of the teams played eight games in order to determine the finals playoffs, which began in mid-August. The NBA Finals will be played on 30 September and are due to finish by mid-October.
All games will be played in Florida’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort to no live audience.
It’s definitely a strange set of occurrences but basketball fans will no doubt be pleased they’ll once again get their fix, albeit in a modified form.
At this stage, the 2020-21 NBA regular season is expected to begin on 1 December 2020 but like anything right now, we’ll have to wait and see.
How to watch the NBA restart from Australia
Now to the good part — how to watch the games. Luckily for Australians, there are quite a few options on the table.
First up is through Kayo. If you’re a fan of streaming services, this one’s going to work best for you. Kayo subscriptions cost $25 a month but you can get yourself a 14-day free trial to see if it’s for you. All the games will be made available through the service live or ready to be streamed when you’re free.
Alternatively, you can use ESPN if you’re a Foxtel customer. Just check for times in the digital schedule and flick it on to watch your favourite teams play.
Another popular option if you don’t really care about getting other sports included is the NBA League Pass. You can grab a seven-day trial for free but after that, you’ll have to pay $68.99 for the year or $39.99 per month.
The pass lets you watch everything over a full season as well as lets you download matches for offline viewing.
If paying to watch the NBA is not your vibe, you might be in luck. SBS has the rights to show a few NBA matches completely for free but at this stage it doesn’t like the playoffs will be available on the service. Just flick on SBS VICELAND or SBS on Demand and you’ll be able to catch a few games or at least their replays.
The schedule included the following nine games between 1 and 13 August, which you can now watch on demand if you missed them:
- Sacramento Kings v San Antonio Spurs
- Philadelphia 76ers v Indiana Pacers
- Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns
- San Antonio Spurs v Philadelphia 76ers
- Toronto Raptors v Orlando Magic
- Sacramento Kings v Brooklyn Nets
- Houston Rockets v Sacramento Kings
- Indiana Pacers v Houston Rockets
- Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder
This article has been updated since its original publication.