5 Ways you can stream live NBA games on ESPN, TNT and more


When it was cold outside, the volleyball court's decision was hot. Golden State Warriors' Steph Curry is poised to become the best 3-pointer in tournament history to beat Ray Allen, and his team lead the NBA to victory. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets vie with the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

NBA fans who want to keep up with the show and the tag team competition will need to find some ways to capture every moment of the season. ABC and ESPN will team up to cover 101 games, TNT will cover 65 games, and NBA TV will broadcast 107 games. All unreleased games will be extended to the NBA League Pass, which is a great option if you're following a team that lives in a different city than yours. Local fans will not be able to watch League Pass matches, as local matches are only shown in local sports.

You don't need cable to watch volleyball this year, but it will still be the easiest and cheapest option depending on where you live.

Live TV streaming services vs. cable

Sports fans are affiliated with the Regional Sports Network (RSN), which provides most sports for local teams. These RSNs are usually included in the local cable plan, so most mobile users don't have to worry about accessing shows on this channel. Just turn on the TV and watch the game.

Basketball scratching fans have a harder time. Typically, most TV services like YouTube TV or Hulu with Live TV do not have multiple RSNs. DirectTV streams are an exception. There's a Bally Sports (formerly Fox Sports) channel on almost every RSN, especially Sinclair, but if you want $ 85 a month you have to hurry. 

NBA League Pass, NBA TV and blackouts

For NBA fans looking to see a ton of basketball off the market, an NBA League Pass membership has a lot to offer. You can get the entire NBA roster for $ 199 for the season, with ads and one device, or $ 249 for the season with arena broadcasts instead of ads and the ability to watch on two devices at the same time. Those interested in following only one team can purchase a Team Pass for $ 119 for the season.

The key problem here is "out of business". Most of the fans are in the market which means they follow the local team, and unfortunately for them, RSNs have exclusive streaming in the region they cover. This means local NBA games are locked to the NBA League Pass. If you live in Los Angeles, for example, you won't be able to watch Lakers or Clippers games on the NBA League Pass. The same goes for Knicks fans in New York, Bucks fans in Milwaukee, etc. The only way to watch most of the local team's games in your local market is to get a service that has the local RSN, namely Spectrum SportsNet, Bally Sports SoCal, MSG Network, or Bally Sports Wisconsin.
DirecTV Stream is expensive. It's the most expensive of the top five live TV streaming services, but it's also the one with the most RSNs. Their cheapest $ 70 per month Plus package includes ESPN, ABC, TNT, and TBS. You will need to upgrade to the $ 85 / month Choice plan to get any available RSN and NBA TV. You can use their channel finder tool to see which local and RSN channels are available in your area.
FuboTV costs $ 65 a month and offers 10 RSN for basketball. It also includes ESPN, but not TBS, which might be a problem for some basketball fans. But you can add NBA TV for an extra $ 7 per month with the Fubo Extra package or pay for the $ 80 per month Elite streaming tier, which includes Fubo Extra. See what local networks and RSNs offer here.
YouTube TV costs $ 65 a month and offers six RSNs for basketball, along with all national broadcasts, including NBA TV. Enter your postcode on the welcome page to see which local networks and RSNs are available in your area.

Sling Blue currently doesn't have a single RSN to watch basketball. However, you can use Sling to watch some national broadcasts. Sling TV's Orange plan includes ESPN, and both plans offer TBS, but neither of them gives you access to ABC. NBA TV is available as part of the Sports Extra add-on, which costs $ 11 per month for the blue or orange plan or $ 15 for the orange and blue combo plan. Individual plans cost $ 35 per month each, and the Orange-and-Blue plan costs $ 50 per month.