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Forget the regular season — it’s time to focus on what really matters in the NBA: the thrilling postseason and the epic NBA Finals. You know the favorites, you know the underdogs, and you know who you want to see lift the trophy (and who you don’t). But do you know how to watch the NBA playoffs without cable?

Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream the NBA playoffs:

  Price Channels Free Trial  
$69.99 – $139.99 65+ None

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$5.99 – $85.96 68 – 88 7 or 30 days

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$64.99 – $79.99 220+ 7 days

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$35 – $50 30+ – 130+ 3 days

See Offer

Below, we’ll lay out the channels you need to get to watch every NBA playoff game live, and we’ll show you how to access NBA playoffs livestreams using services and techniques that are perfectly legal. Let’s find out how to watch the NBA playoffs without cable.

What Channels Are NBA Playoff Games On?

First things first: What channels are we trying to get? The places to turn for live NBA playoff games are ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV. How can we get our hands on these channels? We have the answer below.

How to Watch the NBA Playoffs Online and Over the Air Without Cable

ABC is the only broadcast network (“broadcast” means it’s available over the air via an antenna) airing NBA playoff games this year, and the only way to get the rest of the gang — ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV — is to use a multichannel TV service like cable. We say “like cable,” because we don’t necessarily mean cable. If you’re a cord-cutter, you can use a live TV streaming service instead.

We love live TV streaming services because they offer slimmed-down bundles of live TV networks for less cash than the cable giants charge. Below, we’ll list our favorite live TV streaming services for watching NBA TV, ESPN, TNT, and ABC. We’ll also talk about antennas and other options. Here’s how to watch NBA playoff games online (and over the air) without cable!

Stream NBA playoffs with DIRECTV Stream

Try It

Previously known as DIRECTV NOW and AT&T TV NOW, DIRECTV Stream is one of the most robust cable replacements on the market. It’s not the cheapest live TV streaming option, but it may be the most complete.

Stream NBA playoffs for free with Hulu

Free Trial

Hulu + Live TV is, of course, the skinny bundle service from established on-demand streaming brand Hulu. Hulu's take on the skinny bundle will fit NBA playoff fans just fine, because Hulu's base package includes ABC (in select markets), ESPN, and TNT. Only NBA TV is missing, and that makes Hulu + Live TV a pretty complete way to watch the NBA playoffs and NBA Finals without cable. You can try out Hulu + Live TV for free for a week.

Stream NBA playoffs with fuboTV

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fuboTV is a pretty strong option for streaming the NBA playoffs. fuboTV now offers ABC (in select markets), ESPN, and TNT. Only NBA TV is missing. You can catch almost every game of the NBA playoffs on fuboTV, and this service did very well in our fuboTV review.

Stream NBA playoffs with Sling TV

Try It

Sling doesn't currently carry ABC, but it still has enough NBA playoffs coverage to merit a mention here. Sling TV can get you a live stream of ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, and even NBA TV. You can check out our review of Sling TV to learn more, or sign up for a free trial to get started and see for yourself.

YouTube TV

ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV: YouTube TV has got it all. Google's skinny bundle service is arguably the best bet for basketball fans, particularly at this time of year.

Free Over-the-Air TV

As we mentioned earlier, most of the channels that air NBA playoff games are not available over the air. But ABC is available over the air in a lot of areas, and that's crucial. ABC will have some of the best games of the playoffs this year, and it's one of the channels that skinny bundles can only make available in some markets. It's well worth investing in an over-the-air antenna if you want to watch the NBA playoffs without cable. Besides, an antenna is a worthwhile investment for year-round viewing: you'll get major networks, PBS, and more. You can watch NFL games in the off-season and then catch regular-season match-ups next season on ABC. What's not to love?

Can I Watch the NBA Playoffs on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, or Chromecast?

You want to watch the NBA playoffs without cable, but that doesn’t mean you want to watch every game on your phone. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to get the services listed above on your favorite TV.

Roku Fire TV Apple TV Android TV Chromecast iOS Android Web/
DIRECTV Stream Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hulu + Live TV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
fuboTV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sling TV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Youtube TV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

That’s a lot of platform support from a lot of services, so you should have no trouble finding a way to watch the NBA playoffs without cable. Grab a free trial or two, buy an antenna, and get ready to enjoy a whole lot of playoff action without having to go crawling back to your cable or satellite provider. You’re free!

Cord Cutting Is for Basketball Fans Too

Not long ago, streaming sports was the toughest thing for cord-cutters to do. Happily, live TV streaming services have changed the game — and so have league-backed live sports streaming services such as MLB’s MLB.TV and the NBA’s own NBA League Pass. NBA League Pass didn’t make it onto our list because it’s only good for watching regular-season games, but NBA League Pass is a must for basketball fans. It’s one of our favorite ways to watch NBA games online during the regular season.

2 thoughts on “How to Watch the NBA Playoffs Without Cable

  1. Charlie Palta says:

    In Canada none of those services are available. So… What to do? ?

  2. Judith Nicholls says:

    Antennas don’t look like that any more… I’m constantly surprised that people don’t know about OTA TV any more at all! A whole generation, apparently. HD antennas work very well and are very small and don’t live on towers (most of the time), and if you are fairly close to the source, indoor antennas may work.

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