The NBA Playoffs are heading into the Eastern Conference Finals and Western Conference Finals.
Cord-cutters have plenty of options to watch the 2023 NBA postseason.
But let’s quickly cover what channels you need for all the NBA playoff games and the finals in detail before jumping down to the game schedule. Here is everything you need to know to watch the NBA playoffs and the NBA Finals without cable:
- NBA Play-In Tournament Schedule
- NBA Playoffs Schedule
- NBA Finals Schedule (Updated)
- How to Watch the NBA Playoffs & NBA Finals Without Cable
- How to Watch the NBA Playoffs & NBA Finals for Free
- What’s the best way to watch the NBA Playoffs & NBA Finals?
- How to Watch the NBA Playoffs & NBA Finals FAQ
- How do I watch the NBA Playoffs & NBA Finals?
- Can you watch the NBA Playoffs on Sling TV?
- What channel is the NBA Finals on?
- Can you watch the NBA Playoffs on ESPN+?
- Can I watch the NBA Finals on ESPN3 or the ESPN app?
- Can I watch the NBA Finals on XBox?
The cheapest option will be to use a TV antenna for getting ABC, and a subscription to Sling TV for games airing on ESPN, TNT and NBA TV.
NBA Play-In Tournament Schedule
The NBA Play-in Tournament run from April 11 to April 14, and games air on TNT and ESPN.
April 11 (TNT)
- Play-In Game 1: Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks (7:30 p.m. ET)
- Play-In Game 2: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (10:00 p.m. ET)
April 12 (ESPN)
- Play-In Game 3: Toronto Raptors vs. Chicago Bulls (7:00 p.m. ET)
- Play-In Game 4: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (9:30 p.m. ET)
April 14 (ESPN & TNT: Each network carries a single game.)
- Play-In Game 5: Loser East 7/8 vs. Winner East 9/10
- Play-In Game 6: Loser West 7/8 vs. Winner West 9/10
NBA Playoffs Schedule
The NBA Playoffs run from April 15 to May 17, and games air on ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV.
April 15 (ESPN & ABC: Round 1, Game 1)
- 1:10 p.m. Brooklyn Nets vs Philadelphia 76ers
- 3:30 p.m. TBD – Boston Celtics
- 6:00 p.m. New York Knicks vs Cleveland Cavaliers
- 8:30 p.m. Golden State Warriors vs Sacramento Kings
April 16 (ABC & TNT: Round 1, Game 1)
- 3:30 p.m. on ABC
- 4:30 p.m. on TNT
- 7:00 p.m. on TNT
- 9:30 p.m. on TNT
May 1-2: NBA conference semifinals games air on ABC, ESPN & TNT
- May 1, 7:30 p.m., Sixers vs Celtics airs on TNT
- May 1, 10 p.m., Suns vs Nuggets airs on TNT
- May 2, TBD, Heat vs Knicks on TNT
- May 2, TBD, TBD, airing on TNT
Friday, May 12
- 7:30 p.m. Knicks vs Heat on ESPN
- 10:00 p.m. Warriors vs Lakers on ESPN
Sunday May 14
- 3:30 p.m., Lakers vs Warriors on ABC
- 3:30 or 8 p.m. Sixers vs Celtics on ABC (if 3:30 p.m.), or TNT (at 8 p.m.)
Monday, May 15
- 8:00 p.m., Heat vs Knicks on TNT
Tuesday, May 16
- 8:00 p.m. NBA Draft Lottery on ESPN
- 8:40 p.m. Lakers vs Nuggets on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
May 17-29: NBA conference finals air on ABC, ESPN & TNT
Eastern Conference Finals
- Game 1: Knicks/Heat vs. Celtics/76ers | Wed., May 17 | 8:30 ET, TNT
- Game 2: Knicks/Heat vs. Celtics/76ers | Fri., May 19 | 8:30 ET, TNT
- Game 3: Celtics/76ers vs. Knicks/Heat | Sun., May 21 | 8:30 ET, TNT
- Game 4: Celtics/76ers vs. Knicks/Heat | Tue., May 23 | 8:30 ET, TNT
- *Game 5: Knicks/Heat vs. Celtics/76ers | Thu., May 25 | 8:30 ET, TNT
- *Game 6: Celtics/76ers vs. Knicks/Heat | Sat., May 27 | 8:30 ET, TNT
- *Game 7: Knicks/Heat vs. Celtics/76ers | Mon., May 29 | 8:30 ET, TNT
Western Conference Finals
- Game 1: Warriors/Lakers vs. Nuggets | Tue., May 16 | 8:30 ET, ESPN
- Game 2: Warriors/Lakers vs. Nuggets | Thu., May 18 | 8:30 ET, ESPN
- Game 3: Nuggets vs. Warriors/Lakers | Sat., May 20 | 8:30 ET, ABC
- Game 4: Nuggets vs. Warriors/Lakers | Mon., May 22 | 8:30 ET, ESPN
- *Game 5: Warriors/Lakers vs. Nuggets | Wed., May 24 | 8:30 ET, ESPN
- *Game 6: Nuggets vs. Warriors/Lakers | Fri., May 26 | 8:30 ET, ESPN
- *Game 7: Warriors/Lakers vs. Nuggets | Sun., May 28 | 8:30 ET, ESPN
NBA Finals Schedule (Updated)
|June 1||8:30 PM ET||Heat vs. Nuggets||ABC, ESPN Deportes|
|June 4||8 PM ET||Heat vs. Nuggets||ABC, ESPN Deportes|
|June 7||8:30 PM ET||Nuggets vs. Heat||ABC, ESPN Deportes|
|June 9||8:30 PM ET||Nuggets vs. Heat||ABC, ESPN Deportes|
|June 12||8:30 PM ET||Heat vs. Nuggets||ABC, ESPN Deportes|
|June 15||8:30 PM ET||Nuggets vs. Heat||ABC, ESPN Deportes|
|June 18||8 PM ET||Heat vs. Nuggets||ABC, ESPN Deportes|
How to Watch the NBA Playoffs & NBA Finals Without Cable
The 2023 NBA postseason airs across a number of channels, ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV.
Live TV streaming services such as DIRECTV STREAM, YouTube TV and others carry all the same networks you would find within a cable or satellite package.
These services are supported on Smart TVs, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and a number of Smart TVs.
All you need to start streaming is an Internet connection. Which streaming services have free trials and the NBA Finals? Keep reading for the details on each service.
Some of these streaming services have a free trial that lasts a week without any obligation.
Just remember to cancel before the trial ends if you decide that the streaming service isn’t for you. When you cancel online before the free trial ends, you won’t be billed.
Whether you own a Smart TV, a Roku or TV antenna, here are all the best options for watching every game.
DIRECTV STREAM (formerly AT&T TV) includes all the channels you need for the NBA postseason in its entry-level channel bundle.
The Entertainment plan has more than 75 live TV channels, including ABC, ESPN, and TNT. You also get other local channels such as NBC, CBS and FOX.
New customers can get $10 off for the first three months, and pay $64.99 per month.
DIRECTV STREAM has a 5-day free trial with no obligations.
If you want NBA TV in your channel lineup, you can sign up for the Choice package. The Choice package has more than 105 channels, and includes NBA TV, and regional sports networks from Bally Sports and NBC Sports.
You can get $10 off the first three months and pay $89.99 per month for the Choice plan.
Subscribers get unlimited Cloud DVR and 40,000 on-demand movies and shows. You can watch live TV on an unlimited number of screens within your home.
DIRECTV STREAM works on Roku, Android TV, Fire TV devices, Apple TV and smartphones and tablets. Subscriptions run month to month and so you can cancel whenever you want.
You can look over the different channel lineups before deciding whether to sign up.
fubo (formerly fuboTV) carries local ABC stations, ESPN and NBA TV as part of the Pro channel lineup. The Pro plan has 152 channels total, but lacks TNT.
ACC Network, Big Ten Network, SEC Network, and Golf Channel are included. You can watch live TV on 10 screens at once.
Subscribers get 1,000 hours of Cloud DVR. You can activate more than 40 apps for channels that are in your lineup. Fubo works on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS and Android smartphones.
A subscription costs $74.99 per month. fubo has a library of on-demand movies and TV shows.
fubo works on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and Android TV devices. There are mobile apps for iPhones, Android and you can watch on web browsers.
You can sign up for a free 7-day trial without obligation.
Hulu with Live TV
Hulu with Live TV has 75+ live TV channels, including ABC, ESPN, TNT and History.
CNN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, and USA Network are included in the channel lineup. Hulu Live currently does not carry NBA TV.
You can watch live TV on up to two screens at once. Subscribers get more than just live TV channels to watch. You’ll also have full access to ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu’s on-demand library.
ESPN+ has the latest 30 for 30 episodes and daily MLB games.
Hulu with Live TV comes with unlimited Cloud DVR so you can record sports and other live TV shows.
A subscription costs $69.99 per month. Hulu does not currently have a free trial for its live TV service. But you can look over the channel lineup to see if it’s a good fit.
Sling TV is the most affordable option for watching games in the 2023 NBA postseason.
The Sling Orange plan has ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, and entertainment networks such as A&E, and History for $40 per month. Sling Orange has about 31 channels total.
ABC is available in a number of TV markets, including Chicago, Fresno, Calif., Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, and the San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose.
When you sign up for Sling TV, you pay only $20 for the first month. The regular rate kicks in after that.
NBA TV is available on Sling TV through the Sports Extra bundle. Sports Extra has 14 channels including NFL RedZone and MLB Network for $11 per month.
Subscribers get 50 hours of Cloud DVR. With Sling Orange, you can watch live TV on one screen at a time.
Sling TV has apps for Roku, Fire TV, Xbox One and AirTV Player. Use your membership to activate the ESPN app.
When you sign up for Sling TV, there are no contracts, or extra fees like cable TV.
YouTube TV has about 128 channels total for $72.99 per month.
Subscribers will be able to watch the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals live.
Subscribers get local ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX stations. The channel lineup includes ESPN, TNT, USA Network, Comedy Central, FOX News, CNN, and Telemundo.
You can watch TV or on-demand content on up to three screens at once. Customers get unlimited Cloud DVR and an on-demand library. There are YouTube TV apps for Roku, Apple TV and a mobile app for Chromecast. You can stream on up to two devices at once.
You can try out YouTube TV with a free 7-day trial.
How to Watch the NBA Playoffs & NBA Finals for Free
There is an easy and legal way to watch the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals games on ABC for free without any kind of streaming service.
Using a TV antenna has only a one-time cost. You can get a High Definition signal from a local ABC station. People living within 30 to 40 miles of broadcast towers have an excellent shot at getting local channels with a quality TV antenna.
You can use the free tool at AntennasDirect to see whether ABC is available in your area. Local channels broadcast digital signals in 1080i or 720p, which is High Definition. If you own a new Smart TV, you may have a NextGen TV tuner, which can give you a bump in picture resolution to 1080p.
Here is a list of resources that I have written to get you started with TV antennas.
- How to Choose the Best TV Antenna
- How to Connect Multiple TVs to One Antenna
- Review: The Best Indoor TV Antennas
- Review: The Best Outdoor TV Antennas
Antennas Direct and Mohu are having a 23% OFF sale on TV antennas and accessories between now and June 18 with CODE: NBA23.
What’s the best way to watch the NBA Playoffs & NBA Finals?
Sling TV is the cheapest option for watching NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals without cable TV or a satellite subscription. When you sign up for Sling TV, you pay $20 for the first month. If you keep your subscription, the regular rate of $40 per month kicks in after that. Availability of ABC is limited to about 8 TV markets.
DIRECTV STREAM has all the channels you need to watch the Play-In tournament, NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals live. The live TV service has a 5-day free trial.
You get $10 off per month for the first three months of service if you keep your subscription. That lowers the price to $64.99 per month. The cost returns to the regular rate of $74.99 per month after that if you keep the service.
Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast with Google TV and select Samsung Smart TVs. You can look over the channel lineup before deciding whether to sign up.
How to Watch the NBA Playoffs & NBA Finals FAQ
These are questions readers ask when researching ways to watch or stream the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals without a traditional cable TV or satellite subscription.
How do I watch the NBA Playoffs & NBA Finals?
The 2023 NBA Playoffs air on ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV.
The NBA Finals are being televised on ABC and ESPN Deportes. You can watch the games on DIRECTV STREAM, Hulu + Live TV, fubo, Sling TV, and YouTube TV without a cable subscription.
Can you watch the NBA Playoffs on Sling TV?
No. If you’re a Sling TV customer, you won’t find ABC in your channel lineup. ABC used to be offered under Sling TV’s old “Broadcast Bundle”, but that package went away in 2019.
What channel is the NBA Finals on?
The NBA Finals are broadcast on ABC. A Spanish-language broadcast is on ESPN Deportes.
Can you watch the NBA Playoffs on ESPN+?
ESPN+ is streaming five post-season games leading up to the 2023 NBA Finals. Games on April 12 (Bulls vs Raptors: Play-In Tournament), April 15 (Nets vs 76ers), May 5 (Western Conference Semifinals, Game 3), May 16 (Western Conference Finals, Game 1 or 2), and June 1 (Finals Game 1).
These games are being simulcast with ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC. ESPN+ will have a main broadcast and an alternative broadcast with Stephen A. Smith (NBA in Stephen A’s World).
A subscription to ESPN+ is $9.99 per month.
Can I watch the NBA Finals on ESPN3 or the ESPN app?
Activating the ESPN app allows you to watch live sports airing on ABC. But you need a pay-TV subscription to do so.
Subscribers to Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV (Orange plan) and YouTube TV can activate the ESPN app.
Can I watch the NBA Finals on XBox?
fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV all have supported apps on XBox game consoles.
For more news on streaming, how-to guides and reviews, head over to the main page of The Cord Cutting Report or follow the CCR on Google News.
Note: This article was published on April 11, 2023, and updated with more details about the game schedule.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble