There's just two 2014 NBA schedule live streaming and televised games on Thursday night, with one of the two usually a marquee matchup, but this one could be less of one due to injuries. It'll be Pau Gasol and the LA Lakers vs. Miami Heat, with LeBron James on the court for the defending champions, and that always means potential for "SportsCenter-worthy" highlights on ESPN. The latest televised and live streaming NBA game on the slate will arrive for fans via TNT network sources on Thursday evening.
An ESPN.com report from Jan. 23 indicates that Heat star Dwyane Wade won't be on the court with LeBron for tonight's game. Wade is continuing to work on getting himself back to good health, as he's been dealing with knee troubles. The superstar guard is back on a conditioning and rehabilitation program for his knees after already missing 12 games so far this year. Head coach Erik Spoelstra said of the situation:
"Heat Nation does not need to be panicked. In terms of Dwyane's health, we've said it time and time again: It's going to be a process. There's absolutely no way I'm going [to look] days ahead.
I know he's feeling much better today to be in there working. That's a good sign. We'll see how he feels tomorrow. Maybe he'll do a little bit more."
Injuries to superstar players have been one of the big stories nearly halfway through this 2013-14 NBA season, with Derrick Rose going down once again for the Bulls, and then injuries hitting the likes of Chris Paul of the Clippers and Kemba Walker of the Bobcats. Both players were in street clothes on the bench for a game in Charlotte Wednesday night. Add to that list one major superstar named "Kobe" who was supposed to be back after a tough achilles injury right before last year's postseason. The latest reports that Kobe will be evaluated early next week to see if he can make a return to the lineup. That's certainly good news for a Lakers team that is currently fourth in their division at 16-26 overall.
Bryant has been sidelined since back on Dec. 17 when he had a fracture of his lateral tibial plateau in his left knee. Prior to that, he was able to play for the Lakers in six games and averaged 13.8 points, 6.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds while shooting almost 43% from the field. The Lakers are currently third-to-last in the Western Conference and will need to hope for some teams above them in the West playoff chase to start going on losing streaks. They'll also need to reel off some winning streaks of their own, once Kobe is back in the lineup.
As for the Miami Heat, the story remains the same for the world champs this season: they need to keep pace with the Pacers. Indiana is currently 33-8 overall, while Miami is 3 1/2 games back from first overall in the Eastern Conference. The team that wins that battle ends up with homecourt advantage throughout at least the Eastern Conference playoffs. If the season ended today, Indiana would have homecourt in the NBA Finals as they own the NBA's best overall record. The Heat might not have it, if thy reach the Finals and their opponents end up being the Blazers, Spurs or Thunder.
Thursday night's Lakers vs. Heat game has a scheduled start time of 8 p.m. EST. This game will have televised coverage for cable or satellite viewers on TNT stations around the country. In addition, TNT is offering a live streaming presentation of the game with four different camera video feeds from around the court. They'll include a first quarter "player cam" focused on one star from each of the teams as voted on by fans. See the TNT Overtime site to watch tonight's game live from the court as it takes place. Other options may include NBA League Pass broadband subscription services.