The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers–two teams that are fairly difficult to judge leading into the new season–kick off their 2017-18 NBA campaigns with a cross-town matchup at the Staples Center on Thursday night.
Tip is scheduled for about 10:40 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on TNT. Those with a cable subscription can watch the game online via TNTDrama.com or the WatchTNT app, but if you’ve cut the cable cord, you can still watch a legal live stream for free via one of the following services:
DirecTV Now: All four channel packages include TNT
Sling TV: Both the “Sling Orange” and “Sling Blue” channel packages include TNT
PlayStation Vue: All four channel packages include TNT
Each of the above services include a free trial, so you can watch tonight’s game at no cost.
Projected Clippers Starting Lineup
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup
For as polarizing as Lonzo Ball has been over the last year or so, there’s no denying that it’s exciting when he’s on the court. Despite bouts of inefficiency, he can rack up the popcorn stats (points, assists, rebounds), he already looks like one of the best passers in the league, and the Lakers ran at a break-neck pace (111.67 possessions per 48 minutes) with him on the floor during the preseason.
And all that said, Ball hasn’t even been the most buzzworthy rookie on his team the last couple of weeks. That honor goes to Kyle Kuzma, the 27th overall pick who tore up Summer League and continued to look like a steal during the preseason, averaging a team-high 17.3 points on 51.4 percent shooting. The Lakers have a crowded frontcourt with guys like Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle and Larry Nance needing minutes, but Kuz has worked his way into the rotation.
The Lakers are still young and likely not ready to contend in the crowded West, but they will be decidedly fun to watch.
And the same goes for that other team from LA. Blake Griffin is ready to embrace the point-forward role with Chris Paul in Houston, the Clippers played at the third-fastest pace during the preseason, and 30-year-old rookie Milos Teodosic is a walking highlight reel with his passing:
Put it all together, and this late-night national TV game should be an up-tempo blur of entertaining basketball.