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If nothing else, the 2021 NBA Finals will feel a bit more normal than the 2020 version. In 2020, the entirety of the playoffs occurred in an Orlando bubble. They ended in October with the Los Angeles Lakers taking the trophy. This year, the NBA Finals are scheduled for July, which means there will be a new NBA champion crowned before fall. But one thing won’t change: Just like last year, you’ll be able to stream the series without cable.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream the NBA Finals:
As of this writing, we don’t yet know who will be playing in the 2021 NBA Finals. The Lakers are expected to be in the mix again, and, for a while now, the Brooklyn Nets have been among the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference and meet the Lakers in the Finals. Yet anything can happen in the playoffs, and teams like the Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, and Milwaukee Bucks — not to mention the upstart New York Knicks — would all love to spoil the expected Lakers-Nets matchup. But the question of who will be playing in the NBA Finals will work itself out in due time. For now, let’s look at the ways you can watch the event without cable.
The NBA Finals are a little simpler to follow than the NHL Stanley Cup Final and some other championships, because the 2021 NBA Finals games are all on just one network: ABC. That means you just have to find out how to watch ABC without cable — which, fortunately, is not hard to do!
One great way to get ABC without cable and watch the NBA Finals online is to invest in a live TV streaming service. A live TV streaming service, or “skinny bundle,” is a cable-like bundle of live TV channels. These sorts of services are typically cheaper than their cable and satellite counterparts, and they stream the content over the internet. You won't pay much to watch the NBA Finals through one of these services — especially if you make timely use of a free trial offer.
We'll start out our list of ways to watch the NBA Finals with these streaming services. Then, we'll talk about free over-the-air TV, which is a great way to watch the games for free, no cable required.
Stream the NBA Finals for free with DIRECTV Stream
DIRECTV Stream is a live TV streaming service with a lot of great channels, including ABC, which makes DIRECTV Stream a great option for NBA fans who want to cut the cord without missing a minute of the thrilling NBA Finals. ABC is part of a DIRECTV Stream subscription in most markets.
Stream the NBA Finals for free with Hulu
Not every live TV streaming service has an ABC livestream, but some of them do — including the excellent Hulu + Live TV. Hulu + Live TV has a lot to offer NBA fans, especially during the Finals. You can check out every game on ABC using this service, and you can enjoy the coverage and recaps on ESPN and other included sports networks, too.
Stream the NBA Finals for free with fuboTV
fuboTV is a live TV streaming service that puts sports first. It boasts plenty of sports-specific channels and live sporting events, and it's no slouch when it comes to watching the NBA Finals: fuboTV offers a livestream of ABC, meaning you can stream every NBA Finals game on the service. You’ll be able to see everything from the first tip-off to the moment confetti starts falling on the court.
Want to watch the NBA Finals without cable? Then you should consider YouTube TV, the live TV streaming service from tech giant Google. This superb streaming service includes a ton of great networks, including ABC and ESPN.
ABC is relatively easy for many cord-cutters to access, because it's one of the four major networks that boast local affiliates all over the nation — and those local affiliates broadcast over the air. That means that the odds are good that ABC is available in your area for free over the air. Unless you live in a relatively rural area or are unlucky with your reception, getting the NBA Finals should be as simple as finding the right antenna for your situation, buying it, and installing it before tip-off. And finding the right antenna is easy when you follow our simple antenna guide.
You sure can! Thanks to the platform support offered by the services we listed above, you'll have plenty of options for streaming the NBA Finals on your favorite device. We also made this handy chart to help you, because we’re visual people here.
The NBA Finals will end no later than July 22, right before another big sporting event starts: the Summer Olympics. Yes, the Olympics were originally supposed to be held in 2020, but COVID-19 had other, more dastardly plans, and the games got pushed back a whole year. The upshot is that you can go from watching your favorite NBA players to watching your favorite gymnasts, swimmers, fencers, and more. The Olympics are scheduled to open in Tokyo on July 23, and you can find out how to keep up with everything by reading our guide to watching the Olympics without cable.
Of course, basketball is also an Olympic sport, but we don’t yet know how many big-name NBA players will play in the Olympics, especially since the NBA season runs a month later than usual this year. But if you want to guarantee you’ll see some NBA stars after the Finals are over, you can check out “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” It releases on July 16 and features LeBron James, with supporting turns from Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson, and Anthony Davis. And while you can watch it in a theater near you, you don’t have to, as the movie will be streaming on HBO Max the very same day it arrives in theaters.
What if you’d prefer to take a trip down memory lane and watch the original “Space Jam” that came out all the way back in 1996? Well, it’s also streaming on HBO Max right now. If your curiosity is piqued, consider reading our HBO Max review.
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