The new NBA season tips off December 23 AEDT live on ESPN Australia New Zealand, where LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers look to defend their crown and a new generation of stars will look to make their name.
Los Angeles Lakers claimed their 17th NBA championship last season and will start the new season as favorites, as they hope to begin a new dynasty.
2020-21 sees a condensed 72-game regular season, but it remains one of the most anticipated in recent years. The Lakers may go in highly fancied, but the chasing pack is lengthy as Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, Golden State, Milwaukee and the LA Clippers are in the hunt.
The return of the NBA is the gift that keeps on giving, with ESPN Australia New Zealand providing a festive feast of basketball throughout the holiday season.
In all, ESPN will bring basketball fans 16 live games from December 23-January 7.
ESPN’s coverage of the 2020/21 season begins on December 23 with a blockbuster double header.
Kicking off the action at 11.00am AEDT is the Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets.
Following that at 1.30pm AEDT is a huge clash between two highly fancied rivals in the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Christmas Eve NBA provides another two live games on ESPN, beginning at 11.30am AEDT as Milwaukee look to land an early season scalp in the Boston Celtics. Dallas’ showdown with Phoenix then follows at 2.30pm AEDT.
It is Boxing Day that is again the feature of the festive season, with five huge NBA games back to back across the day on ESPN.
The NBA marathon tips off at 4am AEDT with the New Orleans Pelicans and the Miami Heat facing off.
6.30am AEDT sees the Golden State Warriors collide with the Milwaukee Bucks, where two of the biggest stars in the NBA, Steph Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo, look to lead their side to a Christmas win.
At 9.00am AEDT, the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics face off, before the Dallas Mavericks then welcome LeBron James and the Lakers at 12pm AEDT, which should prove an early test for the defending champions
The Boxing Day blockbuster schedule then concludes at 2.30pm AEDT as the Los Angeles Clippers bring the curtain down on a mountain of basketball against the Denver Nuggets.
The action packed start to the new campaign sets the scene for an NBA season like never before.
A new crop of NBA talent will also have its opportunity to shine, as number one draft pick Anthony Edwards tries to spark the Minnesota Timberwolves again.
James Wiseman missed out on pick one, and he will have a point to prove, as he attempts to help fill the void at Golden State, as Klay Thompson sits on the long-term injured list.
Then, the most fascinating story of them all. LaMelo Ball laces up at the Michael Jordan owned Charlotte Hornets, a franchise in a severe playoff drought.
‘Melo’ may not be the only Ball making the headlines in the NBA this year. His elder brother Lonzo is part of the growing wave of optimism in New Orleans, where the Pelicans are emerging as one of the hottest sides in the NBA.
Led by a fresh Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, New Zealand’s Steven Adams, and Ball – the Pelicans may prove the story of the season.
2020-21 is a season that promises so many enthralling stories, and ESPN will again provide unrivalled digital and social coverage, with instant highlights, stats, news, analysis and opinion from the best team in sport.
ESPN Australia New Zealand will also provide NBA Mini Matches available on-demand, so NBA fans can enjoy the action at any time, as well as full match replays.
“We haven’t had to wait long, and basketball fans will be well treated over the Christmas period as ESPN brings the best of the NBA to them,” ESPN Australia New Zealand General Manager, Haydn Arndt said.
“Fans can consume the NBA in a variety of different ways, whether that is through the broadcast channel, extensive digital coverage or the ESPN App.
“We hope we can provide our fans the best experience during what I’m sure will prove another memorable NBA season.”
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NBA on ESPN Australia New Zealand
Wednesday, December 23
11.00am AEDT, Golden State Warriors vs Brooklyn Nets, ESPN
1.30pm AEDT, Los Angeles Lakers vs Los Angeles Clippers, ESPN
Thursday, December 24
11.30am AEDT, Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics, ESPN
2.30pm AEDT, Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns, ESPN
Saturday, December 26
4.00am AEDT, New Orleans Pelicans vs Miami Heat, ESPN
6.30am AEDT, Golden State Warriors vs Milwaukee Bucks, ESPN
9.00am AEDT, Brooklyn Nets vs Boston Celtics, ESPN
12pm AEDT, Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Lakers, ESPN
2.30pm AEDT, Los Angeles Clippers vs Denver Nuggets, ESPN
Sunday December 27
2.00pm AEDT, Houston Rockets vs Portland Trail Blazers, ESPN
Wednesday December 30
11.30am AEDT, Milwaukee Bucks vs Miami Heat, ESPN
2.00pm AEDT, New Orleans Pelicans vs Phoenix Suns, ESPN
Thursday December 31
2.00pm AEDT, Portland Trail Blazers vs Los Angeles Clippers, ESPN
Saturday January 2
12.00pm AEDT, Portland Trail Blazers vs Golden State Warriors, ESPN
Sunday January 3
11.30am AEDT, Toronto Raptors vs New Orleans Pelicans, ESPN
Thursday January 7
11.45am AEDT, Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat, ESPN
2.05pm AEDT, Los Angeles Clippers vs Golden State Warriors, ESPN
*All times listed are AEDT
*Schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the NBA
ESPN and ESPN2 are available on Foxtel, Kayo Sports, Fetch TV and Sky NZ.