GUIDE: How to Watch the NBA Payoffs on TV, Streaming and more

GUIDE: How to Watch the NBA Play-offs on TV, Streaming and more

The NBA Playoffs are the pinnacle of the basketball season, bringing together the sport’s biggest stars and year’s best performers. Only the top teams from each conference remain, but which one will be the last one standing after four rounds of thrilling knock-out action?

It is a very special time of year for basketball fans, and in this article, we will be making sure that you are well-equipped with the knowledge needed to watch every single point, rebound or block that will go into deciding our champion.

Editorial rating (4.5/5)
Fubo Sports US
Price: Basic Plan from $79.99/mo.
Offer: 7-days Free Trial
Service Type: TV Streaming Service

Schedule and Structure

16 teams make it through to the NBA playoffs, made up of 8 teams from each conference (East and West). The top 6 teams from each conference are automatically included, with the teams ranked 7th to 10th competing in a play-in tournament to decide who will fill the remaining slots. The 2024 play-in Tournament started on April 16th and will finish on April 19th.

The NBA Playoffs will then start on April 20th, with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic getting things started. Throughout the playoffs, the highest-seeded teams have all earned a home fixture against a lower-seeded side. The top-ranked team in each conference will play the 8th-ranked team, the 2nd seed will play the 7th, the 3rd will play the 6th, and so on. This structure of pitching the highest seed against the lowest seed will continue throughout the playoffs until only two teams remain standing from each conference.

Every contest played will be a best-of-seven series, in which the higher-seeded team will host the first, second, fifth and seventh games if required. The Conference Semifinals will take place on May 6th and the Conference Finals will take place on May 21st. There is potential for these to be moved earlier if all contests don't go the full way.

The NBA Finals will start on June 6th, with Game 7 occurring on June 23rd, if it is required. An up-to-date schedule can be found on the NBA website.

Preliminary Schedule:

  • April 20th: NBA Playoffs begin
  • May 6th: Conference Semifinals
  • May 21st: Conference Finals
  • June 6th: NBA Finals

Broadcasting Information

The 2024 NBA Playoffs will be broadcast across several national television networks, including ABC, ESPN and TNT, with NBA TV featuring some of the First Round as well. When it gets to the NBA Finals, only ABC will be broadcasting the action.

Most cable providers will feature all the channels you need, but streaming is often the route that people are opting for now. YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV are both excellent options at just over $70 a month. They come with slightly fewer channel options than Cable packages, but there are still plenty to choose from. Most importantly, they include all the channels you need to watch all of the NBA Playoffs, apart from those shown on NBA TV.

If you are looking to save a bit of money then Sling TV comes in as the cheapest option. This provides access to ESPN, TNT and ABC (via ESPN 3), and comes with an option to add on a Sports package that includes NBA TV for an extra $11 a month.

These do come at a cost, but each service typically offers a free trial, which makes life easier. By utilizing these free trials one after another, you can watch a good portion of the playoffs for free. Just remember to cancel the free trial before it finishes to avoid being hit by a large bill. You will also be able to watch ABC playoff games for free through over-the-air antennas, but your ability to do so will depend on your location and whether you are in range of an ABC station.

Favorites and Predictions

Your betting favorites heading into the NBA Playoffs are the Boston Celtics and the Denver Nuggets, and they stand well clear of the rest. The Nuggets, led by two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, could only tie the Oklahoma City Thunder’s record at the top of the Western Conference, meaning they have to settle for the second seed. Nevertheless, they still stand out as a very strong favorite to emerge as the conference's representative in the NBA Finals. Jokic’s relentlessness in churning out dominant statistical performances has elevated the Nuggets to elite status, but the presence of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown on the Celtics makes them an even more intimidating proposition.

Tatum and Brown are joined by center Kristaps Porzingis in posting over 20 points per game this year, driving the Celtics to a daunting 64-18 record. This is a remarkable .780 win percentage, making them the clear-cut number-one seed in the Eastern Conference.

Chasing them to the title are the likes of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Dallas Mavericks and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Clippers will be hoping to see the return of a healthy Kawhi Leonard to boost their chances, and you can never count out LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Regardless of who emerges victorious, the NBA Playoffs are two months of basketball heaven for sports fans, and it is sure to be thrilling.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) About the NBA Playoffs:

How can I watch the NBA playoffs if I don’t have cable?

There are a lot of live TV streaming services that offer the necessary channels to watch every game of the NBA Playoffs. The likes of YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, SlingTV and more range from $40 a month up to $80 a month, offering the channels you need alongside a whole host of other options.

What are the blackout rules for NBA playoff games?

Blackout rules will apply to the first two rounds of the NBA Playoffs but not the final two rounds. To bypass these blackouts, fans can use a reputable VPN to change their location.

Can I watch NBA playoff games on mobile devices?

Yes, many of the live TV streaming platforms that offer the required channels for the NBA Playoffs will allow streaming on mobile devices. Similarly, NBA League Pass allows you to stream all the action from your phone, computer, tablet or smart TV.

Can I watch the NBA Playoffs for free?

Games broadcast on ABC can be watched for free if you have a good enough antenna and are in the range of a local ABC station. The other channels to broadcast the playoffs (ESPN, NBA TV, NBA League Pass, and TNT) all require paid packages, however, you can extend your free viewing window by utilizing free trials of streaming services.

How many teams will compete in the NBA Playoffs?

There are a grand total of 30 NBA teams, but only 16 of them will be featuring in the playoffs. That is 8 sides from each conference, with the top 6 automatically advancing, and the 7th to 10th ranked teams battling it out in the play-in tournament for the remaining two spots.

What is the cheapest way to watch the NBA Playoffs?

The cheapest streaming service available is  SlingTV, starting at $40 a month, but you will need to add on the extra sports package for a further $11 a month.

Author: Venuse, Inc