(Image credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
The top-shelf NBA action continues tonight and basketball fans are in for a treat as the Miami Heat welcome the Boston Celtics to AmericanAirlines Arena in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference finals. Follow our guide below as we explain how to get a Celtics vs Heat live stream and watch the NBA online, no matter where you are in the world right now.
Celtics vs Heat live stream
Date: Wednesday, January 6
Time: 7.30pm ET / 4.30pm PT / 12.30pm GMT
Venue: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami
TV channel: ESPN
Live stream: Get ESPN with a FREE Sling TV trial
Watch anywhere: try ExpressVPN 100% risk-free
In that best-of-seven series, Jimmy Butler and the Heat beat the Celtics 4-2 to advance to the 2020 NBA Finals – where they acquitted themselves admirably but were ultimately unable to stop LeBron James and the Lakers from adding to the franchise’s trophy cabinet.
This year, Miami and Boston look to be among the East’s frontrunners again, with the C’s out to a 5-3 start to the 2021 season and the Heat currently 3-3. Both have managed to keep the core of their hugely exciting teams in tact, though Miami has suffered from the absence of Jimmy Buckets to start the season – though their star is back in the starting line-up tonight.
The Celtics, on the other hand, have benefitted from some superb performances from budding superstars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. When one’s not on, the other just seems to pick up the slack and both players have dropped 40+ points in a single outing already this year. It’s gone a long way to helping Boston fans forget about the ongoing injury to All-Star point guard Kemba Walker – as has rookie Peyton Pritchard.
This looks set to be one of the most exciting, fiercely contested games of the new season so far – read on for details of how to watch Celtics vs Heat online and get an NBA live stream wherever you are.
Related: how to watch Miami Heat online in 2021
How to watch NBA blackout games and stream from abroadScroll down for a guide to NBA live streaming services all over the world, but first, know that if you can’t watch an NBA game on your usual TV channel or streaming service, it might be due to a coverage blackout (in the US) or a geo-blocking restriction (in international markets).
Both can stop you from watching the coverage you want and most likely pay for, especially with many games being shown on national TV.
When either of these are the case, the simplest and most reliable solution is to use a VPN service to change your IP address to a difference location. This will generally let you tune in to your local coverage, just as you would from home, and means you don’t have to trawl the sketchier corners of the internet for an illegal stream.
Use a VPN to watch NBA basketball online from anywhere
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Celtics vs Heat live stream: how to watch NBA online in the US
The Celtics vs Heat game is being shown nationally by ESPN tonight. If you have it on cable, great – just head to the ESPN website, log-in with your credentials, and stream away. Tip-off for tonight’s game is 7.30pm ET / 4.30pm PT in the US
If you don’t you’ll want to find an over-the-top streaming service that offers ESPN as one of its channels – and we can point you towards the best options for most fans.
The cheapest way to live stream NBA basketball
If you only want to watch the biggest games and are less concerned about regional sports network coverage, you can watch the NBA online for less with great value OTT streaming service Sling TV.
Its Orange package costs just $30 a month and gets you ESPN and TNT, which also airs NBA games nationally. For even coverage, you can grab its $10 p/m Sports Extra add-on for NBA TV access. This combo will give you an NBA live stream for many nationally televised games, with ABC the only channel not on offer.
Plus, Sling offers a FREE TRIAL period so you can check it out for yourself – and unlike cable, cancel your subscription at any time. Its RSN offering is limited, however.
More ways to watch NBA basketball online
Another quality option is fuboTV, which offers ESPN, TNT and NBA TV along with national channels like ABC, CBS and NBC in most major markets. Packages start from $64.99 a month for the more fully featured cable replacement service and there’s a FREE fuboTV trial you can try to see if it’s right for you.
It also features regional sports networks (RSNs) for local coverage in many areas, including NBC’s affiliates in Philadelphia, Washington and Chicago, plus MSG and SportsNet NY for the New York market and NESN in the Greater Boston area
However, other RSNs including most SportsNet affiliates (including Spectrum SportsNet LA) and New York’s YES Network can now only be found on the AT&T TV Now service.
How to watch your NBA team out of market
Those going online-only can consider the merits of an NBA TV Pass , which gets you access to nationally televised games – though it is subject to blackout restrictions, when they apply. Which means you’ll also need a VPN for a complete solution if you go this route.
More sports: how to watch an NFL live stream
How to watch Celtics vs Heat: live stream the NBA game in Canada
SportsNet and TSN share NBA coverage in Canada, including not only Raptors games but also coverage of some of the other big games from around the league – like tonight’s Celtics vs Heat showdown.
Coverage is on TSN2 in this instance and starts at 7pm ET/4pm PT ahead of a 7.30pm ET/4.30pm PT tip-off.
Both are widely available on cable but also offer streaming-only services – TSN Direct (from CAD$19.99 a month) is the one you need to get a Celtics vs Heat live stream in Canada tonight, while SN Now (from $9.99 a month) is the equivalent offering.
For fans of teams that aren’t the Raptors, Canada’s NBA League Pass is another great option. While Raptors games are subject to blackout, no other teams are affected (except when they play the Raptors…), making it well worth considering.
Plus, Canadian hoops fans travelling abroad can always use a VPN to get the same NBA coverage they’d normally watch (and pay for) back home.
Heat vs Celtics live stream: watch NBA online in the UK
UK basketball fans can watch the NBA and live stream this season’s biggest games (as well as those of the WNBA) on Sky Sports – available on Sky of course, as well as with BT and Virgin Media TV packages.
As you’d expect of an Eastern Conference final rematch, tonight’s Heat vs Celtics game is earmarked to feature, with UK coverage starting at 12.30am GMT late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning – just in time tip-off. It’s being aired on both Sky Sports Main Event and, intriguingly, Sky Sports Darts.
Not interested in the commitment or cost of a full-fat Sky Sports subscription, but still want to watch the NBA live in the UK? Don’t worry, as you can also purchase a Now TV Sky Sports Pass.
Your final option is the NBA League Pass, which is available in the UK and will get you every single game of the 2020/21 season from just £3.99 a month for your pick of any three NBA games to watch; £14.99 p/m for full coverage of a single team; or £24.99 a month to get a UK NBA live stream of every single game around.
Should you sign up to that or any other UK sports streaming service, you may well want to watch your subscription from abroad – and as detailed above, all you need is a good VPN on your bench,
Celtics vs Heat live stream: how to watch NBA basketball in Australia
If you plan on watching the NBA on TV this season in Australia, then you’ll need a cable package that gives you access to ESPN, as the network owns the country’s NBA broadcast rights and shows the biggest games – including the Celtics vs Heat match-up, which starts at 11.30am AEDT on the morning of Thursday, January 7 in Oz.
You can get a Foxtel subscription with the channel (Foxtel 509) included that will allow you to watch all the season’s biggest televised games on ESPN, while free-to-air broadcaster SBS may also be showing select NBA action for free on certain weekends.
Don’t want to sign up for Foxtel just to watch the NBA this season? Then great value over-the-top service Kayo Sports has you covered as it will allow you to stream all of ESPN’s NBA coverage for way less than a pay TV package. It costs between $25 and $35 a month, depending on which option, you choose but new customers will be able to test it out for themselves thanks to the service’s 14-day FREE TRIAL.
NBA League Pass is also available in Australia and is a great option for true NBA fanatics who want to watch every game of their favourite team and other action from around the league that might not always be on ESPN’s broadcast schedule.
Going abroad? Remember to consider packing a quality VPN, which will let you access all the same streaming services, NBA games and general sports action you’d normally watch Down Under.
Related: how to watch an NCAA college basketball live stream