What time is the lakers vs clippers game? Matchup guides, channels and more

The NBA is finally back.

More than four months after the NBA suspended its season due to a coronavirus pandemic, on Thursday night the league will stage a pair of surreal games – one that actually counts in the standings – Walt Disney World near Otero, Fla. In the inside of its bubble. Mark the occasion, the league made sure to include a bunch of headliners in their grand reunion.

Who is playing

After the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans celebrate at 6:30 pm Eastern Time, they will clear the stage so that two heavyweight – the Clippers and the Lakers – from Los Angeles can re-reveal themselves at 9 pm ET. Preview the Western Conference Finals.

how to see?

The doubleheader will be broadcast by TNT.

What are we watching?

There are 20 teams participating in the league’s restart, and each will play eight seeding games for the playoffs starting August 17. Players have spent the recent weeks knocking out rushes in quick training camps, and teams played in a series of televised scrimmages. Some looked more ready than others.

[See: This Is What Pandemic Basketball Looks Like]

But Thursday’s games are the culmination of a huge gambler by the league, who hopes to finish the season without problems. (Looking at you, Major League Baseball.) Until now, the NBA’s highly restrictive campus remains secure. On Tuesday, the league reported that none of the 344 players in the bubble had tested positive for coronovirus as the results were finally announced on 20 July. Officials want to keep it the same way.

To watch the players

Lebron James and Anthony Davis. Qui Leonard and Paul George. And Zion Williamson – maybe?

With all due respect to Buck’s Giannis Antetokonampo, who will make his much-awaited return to Milwaukee in a game against the Boston Celtics on Friday night, LeBron James is the league’s most intriguing presence. James had the Lakers at the age of 35 when the season was interrupted in March. But he clearly kept in shape during the long layoff, and he sees another clear shot at the fourth championship – regardless of all the talk of adding an asterisk to this year’s title due to a short and unusual season.

Of course, it wouldn’t even be possible for the Lakers without Anthony Davis’ power forward Anthony Davis, who was scoring 26.7 points and 9.4 rebounds at the time of the season’s suspension. Davis had pierced the eye a few days earlier and missed the Lakers’ final scrimmage. But he says he plans to play against the Clippers.

To win their first championship: The Clippers have their own external ambitions. Qui Leonard, one season removed from his title run with the Toronto Raptors, is one of the league’s most feared duos, teaming up with Paul George, and the Clippers have a ridiculous depth – or at least have them in time for the playoffs needed.

And then there is Zion Williamson of Pillion’s first year. You miss her, don’t you? Steamer-trunk physique? Spring-filled hoops? He left the bubble that the team described as an urgent family affair, but has since returned. Coach Alvin Gentry told reporters that Williamson attended Pelicans practice on Wednesday, but his position would be a “game-time decision” for Thursday’s game against the Jazz.

For the Jazz, he played an unintentional and unfortunate role in the league’s finale on 11 March. It was the focus of a positive test by Rudy Gobert before a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder that tickled the whole thing. Gobert was casual about the dangers of the virus in the days before his positive test, and it caused friction with point guard Donovan Mitchell, who also tested positive. One of the best defensive players in the league, Gobert has repeatedly apologized for his actions.

Many players around the league resumed citing family concerns or injury issues. The Lovers face the absence of Avery Bradley, who chose not to participate. Before the season was postponed, Bradley was the team’s top perimeter defender.

The Lakers are also without point guard Rajon Rondo, who broke his right thumb in the bubble and is expected to be sidelined for several weeks. The Lakers have tried to shore up their backcourt by signing JR Smith, and they played well in their final scrimmage, scoring 20 points on 6-9 shooting in 25 minutes on the bench.

The Clippers seem to be missing a bunch of pieces. One of the league’s best reserves, Lou Williams will not play on Thursday as he is stranded in his hotel room, serving a 10-day quarantine to break league protocol during an absence from the bubble. At the home for a funeral in Atlanta, Williams stopped for wings at a strip club.

In addition, the Clippers will miss the game after leaving the Montrigal Harel bubble, and coach Doc Rivers rated Patrick Beverley as “probably” when he recently returned.

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