Stream NBA games online with a VPN

Updated: May 4, 2021
Stream NBA games online with a VPN

Whether you’re looking to stream NBA games for free, find the best way to watch on NBA League Pass, or test cord-cutting services that include NBA action, you can do it all with the help of a VPN.

On this page you can find information on how to watch the league you love, analyses and predictions for big games coming up, and which team looks like a good bet to win it all.

Stream NBA games free — or listen along

There are a couple of options if you want to follow the NBA all season long without paying a dime. We recommend Locast.org as an option for taking in nationally-televised games on ABC, and ESPN Radio for fans who are on the go, love to multitask, or just can’t get enough of an old-school experience.

Watch NBA games on ABC using Locast.org

Price: Free

Channel: ABC

Locast.org is a not-for-profit service that offers free local programming from a variety of major American media markets. With its help you can tune into nationally-televised games that appear on ABC. Not only do you get prime-time matchups during the season, ABC’s offerings skyrocket during the playoffs and include the NBA Finals.

To watch the NBA live on Locast:

  1. Get ExpressVPN
  2. Fire up the ExpressVPN browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, or Edge
  3. Connect to a server location in the U.S. that Locast serves (such as Chicago or Los Angeles).
  4. Go to Locast.org and sign up for a free profile
  5. Select the market that corresponds with the server location you’re connected to
  6. Tune into the local ABC channel and enjoy the game!

Learn more about watching Locast with ExpressVPN.

[Keep up with the biggest events in the world of sports and how to stream them. Subscribe to the ExpressVPN Sports Newsletter.]

Follow basketball games on ESPN Radio

Price: Free

While ABC, TNT, ESPN, and NBA TV hold TV broadcasting rights, ESPN Radio offers a free online audio broadcast of the entire season.

  1. Get ExpressVPN.
  2. Connect to a secure server location in the U.S. For assistance, contact ExpressVPN Support via live chat.
  3. Head to the official website of ESPN Radio.
  4. You’re all set!

Stream NBA games using NBA League Pass

If you are a serious fan who wants access to every single game, or at least all of your team’s games, there isn’t a better option than NBA League Pass. You can enjoy the games without blackouts by using the international version of the service.

Use NBA League Pass to watch every game without blackouts

Want to catch all the NBA action throughout the year with the privacy and security of a VPN? NBA League Pass is your best option. To make things even better, it currently comes with a seven-day free trial.

Price: 14 USD/season

To watch basketball on NBA League Pass:

  1. Get ExpressVPN.
  2. Connect to a fast and secure server location. For assistance, contact ExpressVPN Support via live chat.
  3. Head to NBA League Pass and sign up.
  4. Enjoy the games!

Stream NBA games using services with free trials

There are a number of services available that should cover your basketball needs. They can be slightly pricey, but offer free trials so you have ample opportunity to see if they’re worth it for you.

Watch live basketball games on YouTube TV

Price: 65 USD/month

Channels: ABC, TNT, ESPN, Stadium, and NBA TV

YouTube TV provides secure access to all four channels that broadcast the 2019-2020 basketball regular season: ABC, TNT, ESPN, and NBA TV. A five-day free trial is available.

Note: Some locally televised games may not be available.

To watch basketball live on YouTube TV:

  1. Get ExpressVPN.
  2. Connect to a secure server location in the United States, such as Chicago. For assistance, contact ExpressVPN Support via live chat.
  3. Head to YouTube TV and use the free trial.
  4. Enjoy the games!

Stream NBA games on Hulu + Live TV

Price: 65 USD/month

Channels: ESPN, ABC, and TNT

Hulu’s live TV package includes three channels for secure NBA streams: ESPN, ABC, and TNT. You may need a U.S. credit card or PayPal account to subscribe. While some locally televised games may not be available, you can try the service with a seven-day free trial.

To stream the NBA on Hulu:

  1. Get ExpressVPN.
  2. Connect to a secure server location in the United States, such as Chicago. For assistance, contact ExpressVPN Support via live chat.
  3. Visit Hulu and use the free trial.
  4. Enjoy the games!

Learn more about connecting to Hulu with ExpressVPN.

Watch basketball games live on Sling TV Orange

Price: 25 USD/month and up

Channels: ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV (NBA TV is available via the “Sports Extra” add-on for an extra 10 USD/month)

Use ExpressVPN and Sling TV to watch two out of four channels for streaming basketball securely this season: TNT and ESPN. While some locally televised games may not be available, you can try the service with a three-day free trial.

To watch live NBA games on Sling TV:

  1. Get ExpressVPN.
  2. Connect to a secure server location in the United States, such as Los Angeles. For assistance, contact ExpressVPN Support via live chat.
  3. Go to Sling TV and sign up, or get the Sling TV app on your device of choice.
  4. Enjoy the games!

Note: In order to get Sling TV’s free trial you must use the Sling TV app as opposed to signing up on the website

Learn more about how to watch Sling TV with ExpressVPN.

Watch NBA streams on fuboTV

Price: 65 USD/month

Channels: NBA TV and TNT

You can use fuboTV to securely watch two out of the four channels that carry the games: TNT and NBA TV. While some locally televised games may not be available, you can try the service with a seven-day free trial.

To watch the NBA on fuboTV:

  1. Get ExpressVPN.
  2. Connect to a secure server location in the United States, such as Chicago. For assistance, contact ExpressVPN Support via live chat.
  3. Go to fuboTV and use a free trial.
  4. Enjoy the games!

Learn more about watching fuboTV with ExpressVPN.

Pro tip: Use the free trials for all of the channels above for over a month of free streams!

Watch basketball highlights and more on the NBA’s official YouTube channel

Check out the latest highlights, interviews, funny moments, and more on NBA’s official YouTube channel.

To watch highlights on YouTube:

  1. Get ExpressVPN.
  2. Connect to a server location in the U.S.
  3. Go to the NBA YouTube channel.
  4. You’re all set!

NBA game blackouts: International League Pass vs. U.S. League Pass

What’s the difference between watching NBA League Pass in Germany, Australia, Canada, or the U.S.? The League Pass is available both inside and outside the States. However, there are key differences every fan needs to know.

The U.S. League Pass offers live games and full-game replays for all teams. However, blackouts apply. When a team is playing, that game will be “blacked out” on the U.S. League Pass for the team’s home market. Nationally broadcast games on ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV will also not be blacked out. (All blacked out games are available three days after broadcast. If you purchased the 3-Game Choice package, nationally telecast games will be available for purchase three hours after they have aired. Locally telecast games will be available for purchase three days after they air.)

Want to tune in without having to worry about blackouts? The International League Pass also offers live games for all teams but without a single blackout. If you only want to watch the games for a single team, select the “Team Choice” option to save some money!

Top NBA games this week

In this space we’ll highlight a few games that NBA fans should be circling on their calendar each week. To enjoy these without blackouts, just fire up your VPN!

Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks [May 4, 7:30 p.m. ET, Eastern Time (U.S)]

When the Nets are at the height of their powers they might be too much for the Bucks, but without James Harden, Milwaukee should give them all they can handle. The Bucks can still catch Brooklyn to earn the second seed in the Eastern Conference, which could mean homecourt in the event that these two teams meet in the second round. That seems likely if the Philadelphia 76ers remain atop the conference. If Milwaukee is going to grab the two-seed, it’ll need to win this one.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Golden State Warriors [May 4, 8:00 p.m. ET]

The Pelicans are the last team with a legitimate shot to crash the Western Conference play-in, but to do so they’ll need to beat the Warriors twice this week. That seems like a tall task for the inconsistent club, but on any given night they can be extremely dangerous. This matchup gets bonus points for its inclusion of Zion Williamson and Steph Curry. Whether you prefer your superstars to dominate at the rim, or rain down threes from afar, this game has you covered.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers [May 6, 10:00 p.m. ET]

As long as the quartet of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George remains in Los Angeles, this is the NBA’s premiere matchup. Now that LeBron and Davis have returned, the Lakers should be able to fire off a warning shot to their crosstown rivals before the playoffs start, while the Clippers need every win they can get as they battle the Denver Nuggets for position.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers [May 7, 10:00 p.m. ET]

The now-healthy Lakers get another mention in the games of the week because they entered it sitting in seventh looking to avoid the Western Conference play-in — and this game is crucial to that goal. The Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks, and Lakers are all bunched up in the 5-7 spots in the conference, and each is desperately trying to avoid coming last in the bunch. Although the Lakers are better than Portland on paper, Damian Lillard can be an unstoppable force over short stretches, and there’s no guarantee that Los Angeles comes out on top.

NBA Award Races

MVP – Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets

With Joel Embiid and LeBron James missing significant time with injuries, this race has become a battle of attrition. Jokić has been a credible candidate to win this award all season long thanks to his ability to contribute in every facet of the game. The Serbian big man has taken his scoring to a new level this season while crashing the glass effectively and feeding his teammates with an array of creative passes. When Jokić touches the ball, good things tend to happen for the Nuggets. Although Steph Curry has risen into the conversation with his latest hot streak, it’s extremely rare for a player to win MVP when his team has such a middling record.

(Preseason prediction: Giannis Antetokounmpo)

Defensive Player of the Year – Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Gobert didn’t get the nickname “The Stifle Tower” for nothing. He entered the week in the top two in the NBA in blocks, rebounds, and shots defended per game—and held opponents to approximately 40 percent on those shots. The Jazz are having an incredible year behind their strong defense, with Gobert the centerpiece of that success.

(Preseason prediction: Bam Adebayo)

Rookie of the Year – Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves

Since LaMelo Ball went down with a broken wrist, Edwards’s stock has risen. Although Tyrese Haliburton probably plays the best all-around game of anyone in the field, Edwards can certainly fill the bucket—like he did dropping 42 on the Suns on March 18. If he gets close to averaging 20 points per game by the end of the season, he’ll be in good shape to take this award.

(Preseason prediction: LaMelo Ball)

Most Improved Player – Julis Randle, New York Knicks

Until this season Randle was always considered something of an empty-calories player. Sure, given enough playing time he had the ability to put up numbers, but his statistical achievements were more good than great, owing to his sporadic inefficiency. That’s all changed as the power forward has gotten far better from beyond the arc and the free throw line, on the way to becoming a legitimate top offensive option. It looks like the Knicks will be back in the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13 and Randle is a major reason why.

(Preseason prediction: Ben Simmons)

Sixth Man of the Year – Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz

With games like his 40-point explosion on February 15, Clarkson has given the Jazz some serious offensive punch. Not only is the veteran providing volume scoring, his three-point shot has been deadly, too, creating space for his teammates. The 52 million USD contract Clarkson landed in the offseason raised some eyebrows around the NBA, but it looks like a strong investment by the Jazz so far.

(Preseason prediction: Dennis Schröder)

Coach of the Year – Doc Rivers, Philadelphia 76ers

Our preseason pick for this award was Rivers thanks to the 76ers’ potential to turn things around and the likelihood that he’d get credit for that. True to form, Philadelphia has been perhaps the only consistently great team in the Eastern Conference. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons co-existed effectively, Shake Milton has emerged as a threat off the bench, and the duo of Tobias Harris and Seth Curry provides enough outside shooting to keep the spacing reasonable. Even without Embiid this group hasn’t slowed down—and now he’s back, and rested.

(Preseason prediction: Doc Rivers)

Who’s going to win the NBA title?

The Lakers are among the favorites as long if LeBron James and Anthony Davis can stay healthy at the same time—but that’s far from a given. Their crosstown rival Clippers are arguably the next-best team in the Western Conference, thanks to their perimeter shooting and potent wing combo of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Other contenders include the Nuggets, who shocked the Clippers in the playoffs last season, the Suns, who have been fixtures near the top of Western Conference Standings, and the Jazz, who have been unbelievable thus far thanks to a combination of three-point shooting and lockdown defense.

In the East, the 76ers are grappling with whether their superstars, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, fit alongside each other, but they’ve got talent up and down the roster, their shooting has improved, and they’ve been outstanding.Their biggest issue from here on out is Embiid’s health.The Bucks will always have a seat at the table as long as they feature Giannis Antetokounmpo. And although they are almost allergic to defense, it’s impossible to ignore the Brooklyn Nets and their big three of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving—even if they’ve hardly played together.

Here are the 10 teams with the best chance of winning it all according to FiveThirtyEight:

TeamChampionship Probability
Los Angeles Clippers25%
Utah Jazz20%
Philadelphia 76ers15%
Brooklyn Nets14%
Milwaukee Bucks8%
Los Angeles Lakers5%
Phoenix Suns5%
Denver Nuggets3%
Miami Heat2%
Boston Celtics<1%

Key Dates for the NBA Season

All-Star BreakMarch 5-10
Playoff Play-in TournamentMay 18-21
NBA PlayoffsMay 22-July 22

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