The talented-but-young New Orleans Pelicans will take a “mile-high” trip to take on the Denver Nuggets on Christmas Day at the Pepsi Center.
Zion Williamson, who has yet to play a game this season, will likely dominate much of the sideline conversation. The Duke product has remained out since his surgery to repair a torn right meniscus. Pelicans executive David Griffin and head coach Alvin Gentry have elected to keep Williamson under wraps, and he likely won’t play more than 20 games this season, if he suits up at all.
New Orleans, though, already has two stars in defensive stalwart Jrue Holiday and Brandon Ingram, who’s turned into one of the league’s top scorers. The fourth-year player ranks 12th in the NBA with 25.3 points per game.
Denver hasn’t played up to expectations, given that he just came off a strong 2018-2019 season. But they still sit second in the Western Conference, again led by star center Nikola Jokic. The ridiculously skilled Serbian, who’s rebounded nicely after a poor start, is currently averaging 17.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game.
Channels included: TNT, ESPN (Sling Orange, Sling Orange + Blue), NBC Sports (Sling Blue, Sling Orange + Blue), and NBA TV (with add-on), ESPN3 (NBA on ABC games are simulcast on the channel with Sling Orange subscription)
has two distinct channel packages, both of which are priced at $25 per month. You want , which comes with both ESPN and TNT. From there you can add the Sling Orange Sports Pack for $5 per month to unlock NBA TV. That means you get by at just $30 per month. That said, if you live the Bay Area, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Portland, or Washington, D.C., you might want to upgrade to ($40 per month) so that you can get local coverage from NBC Sports. There’s just one drawback: Sling TV doesn’t offer ABC in its local channels (or provide an on-demand alternative). With most ABC live games, you can stream via the WatchESPN app. Here’s hoping that proves true when it comes to streaming NBA games. Otherwise, you’ll want to invest in an HD antenna. (Here’s a complete guide to .) As noted previously, Sling TV is the only service that allows you to include NBA League Pass as an add-on.
Game-changing feature: Price. Sling TV allows you to stream NBA games without breaking the bank.
doesn’t offer a way to watch NBA TV, but if that’s not a deal-breaker, it’s a great way to watch NBA games online. Plus, each subscription unlocks Hulu’s deep catalog of TV shows and movies, so you’ll have plenty to watch after the final whistle blows. For an extra $4 per month, you can upgrade to.
Game-changing feature: Every subscription comes with free access to ’s on-demand library, meaning you can catch up on all of your favorite shows. (Here are our picks for the,,anime, and the must-see .)
There’s a good chance that you’re already looking to AT&T for your wireless needs. The second you sign up you’ll gain instant access to 45+ channels, including local channels and even free HBO on PLUS and MAX channel suites. Plus, it comes with CloudDVR which lets you record up to 20 hours of TV per month. One account works on two devices, but you can add more devices for only $5.
Channels included: ABC, NBA TV, TNT, NBC Sports, ESPN
Like Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV offers just one package of channels, and it’s a stacked lineup for sports, with everything you need to stream NBA games. YouTube TV also includes , , , and CBS Sports Network. (You can find the full list of here.)
Game-changing feature: You can add up to six accounts per household, and each one of those accounts gets unlimited cloud DVR. Even better: You can fast-forward through ads in recorded programs.
Real ballers splurge for NBA League Pass. The premium service lets you stream more NBA games than you could possibly count (basically everything that’s not already on national TV or subject to local blackouts). It’s a bit pricey, but you can save some money with NBA Team Pass, which follows the same broadcast restrictions but focuses on one specific team (all the games for the New York Knicks, for example). If you’re only interested in specific matchups, you can buy single NBA games, and new this year, you can purchase just the fourth quarter for $1.99. Both NBA League Pass and Team Pass also offer games in VR.
You can order NBA League Pass and NBA Team Pass online from NBA.com or as part of B/R Live or a subscription. No matter which one you choose, it’s going to cost the same.
breakdown (the Christmas sale edition):
NBA League Pass (all teams): $199 per year or $28.99 per month (now down to $149.99 for the remainder of the season)
NBA League Pass Premium (all teams + in-arena stream): $249.99 per year or $39.99 per month (but now just $179.99 for the remainder of the season)
NBA Team Pass (one team): $119.99 per year or $17.99 per month (but now available for $89.99 from Christmas through the rest of the season)
NBA League Pass Audio: $9.99 per year
NBA League Pass single games: $6.99
NBA League Pass fourth-quarter action: $1.99 per game
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Denver Nuggets: What to watch for
The other big story with the Pelican, other than Zion’s continued absence, centers trade around the availability of Jrue Holiday.
Yet what that also means is Jrue Holiday is indeed available via trade, league sources say. It would surely cost a significant amount to pry him away from the Pels, but this is a notable change in status given how unavailable Holiday was to interested teams last season
The 29-year-old guard would be a tremendous addition to any team as a second or third scorer, depending on the team’s makeup, and would be an instant upgrade for any team defensively. However, it would be interesting what he would bring in return, versus keeping him to team with Ingram and a healthy Williamson.
NBA podcast: Week 9 review
Check out the author’s NBA podcast covering news of the last seven days in the league. The crew talks about how mid-season tournaments, all-decade teams, and Kawhi Leonard’s Uncle Dennis. Also, they’d like you to listen and subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen to your favorites.