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After a fourth-month break, the NBA restart kicked off Thursday night with two games: The Utah Jazz beat the New Orleans Pelicans 106-104, and Los Angeles Lakers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 103-101. The Houston Rockets first game since the restart is Friday night at 8 p.m. CST, against the Dallas Mavericks.
While the NBA shutdown chaos feels like a years ago, the 2019-20 regular season is ending furiously—22 teams, no fans, and eight games per team in the span of two weeks—and the Rockets are back and looking to win their first title since 1995. Bubble or no bubble, the title counts.
If you’re looking to tune into as much Rockets action as you can between now and the end of the season, here’s how.
How to watch Houston Rockets games
All eight Rockets games in the “seeding games” schedule will air on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. If you get that channel, you’re set. Six of the remaining eight games will also be broadcast nationally; for example, Friday night’s game will be on ESPN, and Sunday’s game will be on ABC.
The nationally televised games will be on four channels: ABC, ESPN, NBA TV and TNT.
If you don’t have cable, getting all these channels might take some work. But there are easy enough solutions.
Best NBA restart streaming options
To watch every Rockets game, plus all the other “seeding games,” you’ll want NBA League Pass + NBA TV. It’s $59.98 for the remainder of the season. That includes all regular season games, except for any that’d be blacked out locally.
There are other League Pass options, but that one is the “everything” package, and if you care about the Rockets to buy an NBA-specific streaming service, you should just get the one that gives you every matchup.
For a broader selection of TV channels plus every Rockets game, Sling Orange + Houston Rockets Team Pass makes the most sense.
WATCH Houston Rockets ONLINE – sling.com
This costs $47.99 per month: $30 per month for Sling Orange, and $17.99 per month for the Houston Rockets Team Pass. Along with every rockets game, you’ll get ESPN, TNT and about 30 other channels.
fuboTV will also get your AT&T SportsNet Southwest, so that will cover every Rockets game. But there is one sizable hole in fuboTV’s service for hardcore basketball fans: It lost TNT and other Turner networks on July 1. That means you won’t get any nationally broadcast games on TNT. On the upside, however, you will be able to watch ABC and ESPN on fuboTV as of Aug. 1, which was previously the most glaring hole in fuboTV.
fuboTV Standard – fubo.tv
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How many games are left in the NBA season?
Only 22 teams are left eligible for the playoffs, and each team will play an eight-game “seeding schedule.” How these teams go about making the playoffs is more complicated than normal years—but 2020 is obviously not a normal year, and the Rockets are still alive. That’s the important thing.
The NBA spells out the setup on its own NBA return FAQ page. Most teams will play a total of 72 or 73 games, when combining the seeding schedule with their previously played contests, though some will play more games based on games already completed (the Mavericks, for example, will end up playing 75).
The seeding schedule runs through Aug. 14. After that, the playoffs will start Aug. 17. The conference semifinals begin Aug. 31, and the conference finals begin September 15. The NBA Finals begin September 30 and will finish “no later than Oct. 13.”
What teams are still playing?
Things are a bit lopsided between the conferences, but here’s every team left:
- 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
If you need a quick primer on what was happening before everything shut down, check out this handy article, “Here’s 10 things to know about the NBA season restart.”
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