If you’re a fan of the NBA, you probably wouldn’t want to miss any of the games. Of course, there are times where you can’t be physically present for the game, but it doesn’t mean you can’t stream these sports games live. You may or may not know where to live-stream NBA games, but even if you do, you should always have a backup in case the channel or the website is down.
It’s no surprise that there are plenty of networks to choose from, may it be sports online streaming services, premium subscriptions, TV channels, and so on. But, which is the best for you to watch NBA live streams for free? Here’s the rundown of the best NBA live streams that provide unlimited HD streams.
National Networks With NBA Broadcasting
Before you ask how to live stream NBA, there are a couple of things you need to know beforehand. First, NBA streams are only accessible via selected networks with broadcasting rights. Next, in order to access these networks, you can either use a cable television or subscription services that allow NBA live streams. These are the basics if you want to know how to watch NBA streams.
First, let’s talk about the national networks that have NBA streams for in-season and post-season games. These national networks include ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV. There are also many different regional sports channels that have broadcasting rights for certain NBA streams. The more of these channels you have access to, the wider coverage of the NBA games you can watch. That’s because the NBA game schedules on television for each of these networks will be different. You can find a list of the scope of each channel for NBA streams below:
NBA streams are broadcasted nearly every night during the season. However, only some games will be broadcasted during the playoffs.
You can catch the NBA season games on Wednesday and Friday evenings on ESPN. However, you can view only the Western Conference Finals on the channel this year (2020).
TNT broadcasts doubleheaders on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. In contrast to ESPN, only the Eastern Conference Finals are viewable on TNT this year (2020).
ABC broadcasts NBA streams on a weekly basis. During the normal season, they’re broadcasted on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. However, only some games are broadcasted during the playoffs. If you’re looking to watch the finals, ABC is great to have since they broadcast all of the games.
NBA Streaming Services With National Networks
Ideally, you should be able to access all of the networks with broadcasting rights. The best way to do this is via streaming service. You’ll need a subscription to those services plus a high-speed internet connection to watch NBA streams smoothly. Although most subscriptions are paid, they do have legitimate free trials if you want NBA streams for free.
What are the best live streaming TV packages in the US for NBA streams? There are actually many to choose from and each one will have its pros and cons. These streaming packages include Youtube TV, FuboTV, Sling TV, Hulu Live, and DirecTV Now. Many of these will offer access to all the top networks. However, some will have spotty access depending on your plan and region. Plus, ABC’s availability on all the services will vary depending on your zip code. That’s because ABC only has contracts with certain services within certain areas.
|Service Type||Price||Key Channels Included|
$49.99/month+ (free 7-day trial)
ESPN, ESPN2, ABC/ESPN3, TNT, NBA TV, regional FOX Sports, regional NBC Sports
NBA TV, TNT, Regional FOX Sports, Regional NBC Sports
$25/month+ (free 7-day trial)
ESPN, ESPN2, ABC/ESPN3, TNT, NBA TV, regional FOX Sports, regional NBC Sports
Hulu Live with TV
$54.99/month+ (free 7-day trial)
ESPN, ESPN2, ABC/ESPN3, TNT, regional FOX Sports, regional NBC Sports
$59.99/month+ (free 7-day trial)
ESPN, ESPN2, ABC/ESPN3, TNT, NBA TV, regional FOX Sports, regional NBC Sports
Youtube TV is probably the best service for NBA streams because it has a wide reach. Its plans include ESPN, TNT, NBA TV, and even ABC for most regions in the US. The only drawback is if you happen to live in a region where ABC isn’t available. However, since ABC is available in most regions, the odds of you getting ABC in your plan are high. If you want to watch for free, Youtube TV has a free trial for seven days.
FuboTV is also a decent option. However, you won’t get access to ESPN with this streaming service. Moreover, similar to Youtube TV, FuboTV has access to ABC in most regions. Unfortunately, FuboTV doesn’t have an available free trial but it does have free add-ons and discounts. These are available for the first two months of Showtime, Cloud DVR Plus, and Family Share.
Sling TV is also a viable option, although it does come with limitations. It’s got access to ESPN and TNT but only has NBA TV as an add-on. Plus, ABC is only accessible in a limited number of areas with Sling TV. With regard to free trials, Sling TV constantly changes its free trial offering. At the time of writing, Sling TV offers a three-day free trial (although previously, they offered it for seven days).
Hulu Live With TV
Hulu Live With TV is a good option similar to Youtube TV. However, if you’re going with Hulu Live, you’ll have to pass up on watching NBA streams on NBA TV. Although, you do have a higher chance of watching from ABC since it’s available in most regions. Hulu Live With TV comes with a seven-day free trial if you’re looking to quickly watch for free.
DirecTV Now is probably the next best bet after Youtube TV. It has access to all the networks you’d need (ABC in most regions as well). However, not all plans will have access to NBA TV via DirecTV Now. If you’re looking to watch NBA streams for free, DirecTV Now offers a seven-day free trial for the service.
How to Get NBA League Pass?
There is one other streaming service that allows for NBA streams, and it’s undoubtedly one of the best. Offered by the NBA itself is the NBA League Pass. It’s a subscription service that allows you to watch NBA streams without being hindered by networks’ availability. The only limitation you’ll have for viewing games will depend on the subscription tier you opt for.
NBA League Pass’s most affordable league pass subscription allows for streaming a single team’s games. For example, you may be a fan of the Lakers and you only want to stream games they’re involved in. This tier would then be perfect for a fan like you. However, if you’re hungry for more games to watch, NBA League Pass also offers other tiers. The most expensive of which gives out the most access.
While the NBA League Pass is a great way to watch an NBA stream, it’s not without its limitations. For instance, the pass has blackout rules still in place. Depending on your region, some streams for certain teams may be unavailable to you. Sometimes, games that are broadcast internationally may be blacked out as well.
Since the NBA League Pass is a subscription service, it doesn’t come for free. However, if you’re vigilant and lucky enough, they do offer free trials occasionally. Throughout the NBA’s season, you may encounter free trial offerings here and there so keep your eyes peeled.
Best Alternative NBA Streams
Many of the above streaming services do offer free trials. However, what do you do when you can’t use those services? Maybe your free trial has expired or you merely want alternatives in case those options don’t do it for you. If so, you should opt to view NBA streams on alternative platforms. What are the alternatives to stream NBA live for free? We’ll include a couple of them here in this article. Moreover, we’ll discuss some old alternatives that are no longer available to keep you from wasting your time on them.
Update: Why Does Reddit Ban NBA Streams?
Reddit is a social networking site that’s famous for having many different discussions under subreddits. However, with the millions of topic-based forums and discussions, it can be hard to keep track of each one. That’s why the /r/nbastreams subreddit became fans’ go-to alternative for NBA streaming. This continued for years until the subreddit was finally shut down last year in 2019.
Why was it shut down? Well, for obvious reasons, of course. Streaming paid online content for free on different platforms is illegal. Reddit itself banned the subreddit due to the violation of Reddit’s copyright infringement policies. Prior to the ban, there was an increasing number of DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notices on the site. This increase in reporting against copyrighted content resulted in over 20,000 removals of Reddit content.
While the subreddit has since been banned, it has moved to other places. A new subreddit called /r/adamsilver4live was created to replace the old one. If you can join the subreddit, you may be able to still view NBA streams for free via Reddit.
Sports Stream Alternatives
As an alternative to the subreddit, there are existing sports streaming sites in place. These websites are managed by different people who help others live-stream their favorite games. Check out our picks for good NBA streaming sites:
Crackstreams is one of the most popular sports streaming sites now. Just like any of your premium subscriptions for live streams, Crackstream features plenty of live streams beyond NBA except that it’s absolutely free. Here, you can find plenty of live streams like the NFL, WWE, NBA, UFC, and MMA. Though they have an extensive library of sports channels and live-streams, the links to live streams will mostly be updated only a day before the game. That means you should follow your favorite games’ schedules well so you won’t miss a beat. Also, with regard to NBA streams, the site will mostly stream the season and playoffs. You can also join their Discord Server to engage with the community for updates and announcements. It’s user-friendly, though there might be pop-up ads once in a while.
Previously known as CFBStreams on Reddit, SportSurge is a great alternative to Crackstreams. It features a similar interface and it allows you to stream unlimitedly on different sports such as the NBA, MMA, Boxing, Motor Sports, and Football. Once you click on the NBA button, it’ll take you to a list of different streams. Each stream will have different resolutions, bitrates, languages, coverages, and more. Though some stream resolutions might not be the best, there are also some live streams that are in Full-HD. The upshot? You don’t need to register an account to watch any live streams here. Plus, the website’s interface is clean and straightforward to navigate. Join Sportsurge Discord here and to keep up with the schedules and the latest sports talk.
This site is one of the best to stream NBA live. As much as we like Crackstreams, this site emphasizes on their NBA streams. That means, whether if you’re a Lakers fan or Boston Celtics fans, you won’t miss any game matches here. On NBAstream.nu, not only will you find the latest live sports but you can also stream most of them in HD. Trust us, you wouldn’t want to miss the exciting goal shoot because the graphics are pixelated. You can access the website via Windows, Mac, or even through mobile devices like phones and tablets. Just be mindful that there are some pop-up ads and remember to have a steady internet connection at all times.
If none of the other sites are working for you, check out nba-stream.com. It’s a website that embeds different NBA streams from different sources all in one site. Sometimes, having many different sites to access can be a hassle especially during game time. NBA-stream provides a hassle-free all-in-one alternative for you to stream your favorite games from different sources. All you need to do is go to the site and watch their streams for free.
Buffstreamz.com, also known as Reddit NBA Streams, is great for streaming NBA. But there are plenty of other sports options including the MMA matches, NFL, Boxing, and UFC. What’s great about Buffstreamz is that the live sports schedules are constantly updated on the site. So, even if you’ve forgotten the actual date of the match, you’ll still be able to get your info right. The site itself supports chat function, which means you can interact with viewers or discuss your opinion about the match at ease.
6. Ace Stream
Ace Stream isn’t a website, but a program that allows you to stream media. It can be a little more complicated than a straight-up website but when you want as many options as possible, it’s worth a look. Once you download Ace Stream, you have to stream the NBA games with available content IDs. These IDs may be found online if you run a Google Search (for example, Warriors vs Rockets Ace Stream content ID). You may also find them through online communities like subreddits providing content IDs.
If you’re opting for one of the NBA streaming services (Youtube TV, Hulu Live, etc.), there’s something you should know. Streaming these services from abroad may hinder you from accessing the US networks. That’s because they could be geo-blocked if you’re outside of the US. The question now becomes: Do I need a VPN to watch the NBA when I’m overseas? And the answer is yes.
VPNs are a handy tool if you’re looking to stream NBA games internationally. The way they work is that they give you a different IP address from what you’re actually using. While you’re accessing a VPN, your device gets the IP address of the VPN’s server. This can trick services like YouTube TV, Hulu Live, and even the NBA League Pass into thinking you’re in America. Of course, you’re going to have to look for a reliable VPN to do this, one with multiple nationwide servers.
VPNs are also a great tool to have to get past general geo-blocking. For instance, with an NBA league pass, some games may be blacked out due to geo-restrictions. If you don’t want to move across the country to watch a blacked-out game, you can use a VPN to bypass this restriction. Just make sure you get a good VPN with great server locations and services to suit your needs. Most good VPNs won’t be free, either. Trying your luck on watching NBA games internationally free of cost may prove to be a difficult task. Just keep that in mind before you go abroad when the NBA season comes around.
Here are some of the best VPN services recommendations:
– Unlimited bandwidth
– No logs policy
– Wide servers across 94 countries
– Professional grade encryptions
– Allow split tunneling
– Comes with a kill switch
– No logs policy
– Supports torrenting and streaming
– Fast speed
– Block malware and pop up ads
– Add-on double protection by changing IP address twice
– Kill switch support
– Unlimited users
– Fast and reliable
– Excellent for streaming and torrenting
– Low-cost VPN with premium features
Things to Take Note of When Watching Live Streams
Modern technology has given us streaming, and it’s a great feat in and of itself. However, streaming doesn’t come without its drawbacks and issues. When you’re streaming something online, there’s an awkward quirk you have to get rid of, namely: lag. If not, there will always be pop-ups that don’t seem to go away no matter what you do.
Streaming is most enjoyable with a high-speed WiFi connection. However, not everyone is willing to fork out money monthly to pay for the expensive high-end WiFi services. Even if you do, you might not have that kind of luxury when you’re out traveling. Either way, if you want to reduce lag while you’re streaming then here are some tips:
1. Keep Your PC Clean from Caches and Cookies
The logic is straightforward: the cleaner your PC, the faster the load time. The first step of keeping your PC tidy is to avoid opening too many tabs that’ll consume the CPU memory. If you’re streaming, it’s best to keep the rest of the software and programs running simultaneously on your devices. Try downloading a PC cleaner and make sure to periodically clean your streaming PC. Cache and other junk files may get in the way while streaming so it’s important not to skip this step.
2. Don’t Open Other Windows
If you have other windows open that connect to the WiFi, they may hog your internet connection. This may keep your stream from running smoothly so make sure to close other windows.
3. Disconnect WiFi Hogging Devices
WiFi connections get slower and slower with an increasing amount of connected devices. If you want to keep your stream from lagging, make sure to disconnect other devices from WiFi. Streaming from a PC may mean you have to turn off the WiFi connection on your phone. The same goes for any connected tablets, consoles, or even other open PCs connected to your WiFi network.
4. Refresh Your Stream
There are times when streams inevitably stop. Perhaps due to your WiFi connection or some other problems behind the scenes. However, it’s no reason to panic. Simply refresh your stream via the refresh button or F5 on your keyboard. This will most likely fix the lag or disconnection problems with your stream.
Eyes on the Ball
If you’re a fan of the NBA, it can be frustrating to miss all your favorite games. While it may be enough for casual fans to just know the scores, it’s not enough for all other fans. Watching the games for yourself is a totally different experience. You can get into the heat of the moment, cheer when your team scores, or even get frustrated when your team misses. Luckily, there are many ways to keep your eyes on the ball and stream the NBA for free so you won’t have to miss out on the experience.