Watch NBA 2020

N.B.A. Restart Day 1 Schedule: Guide of Matchups, Tipoff Time and Channel

Some of the league’s biggest stars — LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and maybe Zion Williamson — will be in action for the opening night of the resumed season.

How to Watch

  • Date: Thursday, July 30 | 9 p.m. ET
  • Location: Disney World Bubble — Orlando, Florida
  • TV: TNT
  • Odds: Lakers -4.5 | O/U: 216.5
Credit…Derick E. Hingle/USA Today Sports, via Reuters.

The N.B.A. is finally back.

More than four months after the N.B.A. suspended its season because of the coronavirus pandemic, the league on Thursday night will stage a pair of real games — ones that actually count in the standings — inside its bubble at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla. To mark the occasion, the league made sure to include a bunch of headliners in its grand reopening.

WHO IS PLAYING?

After the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans christen the festivities at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, they will clear the stage so that the two heavyweights from Los Angeles — the Clippers and the Lakers — can reacquaint themselves at 9 p.m. E.T. in what could be a preview of the Western Conference finals.

HOW TO WATCH

The doubleheader will be broadcast by TNT.

WHAT ARE WE WATCHING?

Twenty-two teams are participating in the league’s restart, and each will play eight seeding games before the playoffs are scheduled to begin on Aug. 17. Players have spent recent weeks knocking off the rust at accelerated training camps, and teams played in a series of televised scrimmages. Some looked more prepared than others.

Will this be a Western Conference finals preview? Only time will tell. Ahead of the NBA‘s restart, here’s everything you need to know about Clippers vs. Lakers.

Storylines

Clippers: Well, the Clippers are going to be without Lou Williams for this game, after the veteran guard was caught picking up dinner at a strip club in Atlanta earlier this week, and had his re-quarantine time extended to 10 days. On the court, it will be interesting to see if Kawhi Leonard can turn things up once the real games start. He’s been strangely bad in the scrimmages, shooting 12-of-46 from the field. The Clippers will obviously need him operating at a high level if they want to make it out of the West.

Lakers: The Lakers have had their own distractions off the court. Dwight Howard has gotten in trouble for not wearing a mask, and made some ignorant comments about vaccines. On the floor, the biggest storyline is how they respond to the various absences they’re dealing with. Avery Bradley is sitting out of the restart, while Rajon Rondo suffered a broken thumb in practice shortly after they arrived in the bubble. Those are two big losses to their backcourt, and they’ll need players like Alex CarusoKentavious Caldwell-Pope and possibly even J.R. Smith to step up.