The 2020 NBA Playoffs will be here before you know it, and basketball fans don’t want to miss a second of what’s sure to be an exciting postseason. Thankfully, you can watch the NBA Playoffs without cable or satellite thanks to a host of new legal streaming services, like Hulu Live, Sling TV, and others. Some options will even let you watch the NBA Playoffs online free for a period of time!

Check out HOW TO WATCH NBA ONLINE & WITHOUT CABLE (Updated for 2020)

Watching the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals without cable is as simple as 1, 2, 3; and today I’ll show you how. Let’s get started!

Editor’s Note: The NBA is set to come back on July 31st. Don’t miss the return – there’s no need for cable!


Watch NBA Playoffs Without Cable: At a Glance

Looking for the cliff notes? Here’s our recommendation for streaming the NBA Playoffs in 2019:

Sign up for Sling TV (try it free for 7 days). This affordable live streaming service offers a great way to watch NBA Playoffs without cable.

Sling costs as little as $30 a month, and provides access to ESPN, ESPNEWS, TNT, NBA TV, and ABC (via ESPN3). That means Sling will cover the entire NBA Playoffs! It’s the easiest way to get access to ABC, as ABC’s games will be simulcast on ESPN3, which Sling TV includes.

Sling TV is an online streaming service that lets you watch live TV without cable. It covers anywhere from 30-100+ channels, depending on the package you choose. You can stream on Roku, Apple TV and other streaming players, as well as your computer, mobile devices and more.

You can try it out for free with a 7-day free trial.


NBA Playoffs Channels

First things first; if you want to watch the NBA Finals without cable, you’ll need to know what channels they air on first.

There are three channels that the NBA Finals will air on, and they are ABC, ESPN, ESPNEWS, TNT and NBA TV. Now I know what you’re thinking: “But those are cable channels!” And they are. But luckily, you still don’t need a cable provider to watch ESPN or the other channels you’ll need. I’ll show you how in just a minute, but first let’s talk about ABC.


OTA Antenna

The easiest way to get ABC is through a simple over-the-air (OTA) antenna. Far more advanced than their rabbit-eared ancestors, OTA antennas can give you all of the broadcast channels you know and love (ABC included) in 1080i HD picture for free (minus the cost of the antenna, of course). My favorite OTA antenna brand is Mohu, but feel free to shop around.

Do note that an antenna won’t help you with the games on ESPN – only those on ABC.


Sling TV Provides Affordable NBA Playoffs Streaming

As discussed above, Sling TV is one of the best ways to watch NBA Playoffs games without cable. Plans start from $25 a month, with no contract.

Sling offers all the channels you’ll need; ESPN, ESPN3 (which covers ABC’s games), ESPNews, TNT, and NBA TV.

  • Get all the channels you need for the whole playoffs
  • Customize your channel lineup to suit your tastes
  • Watch live TV without cable
  • Watch on mobile devices, computers, streaming players like Roku, and more
  • Plans from $30/month
  • No contract or commitment
  • Free 7 day trial available

You can learn more in our Sling TV review, or try it out for yourself!


Other Ways to Watch Playoff Games Online

Sling TV is probably going to be your best bet, but it’s far from the only option. Here are some other great choices:

Hulu Live TV – $55/mo – free 7 day trial

Hulu Live TV offers ESPN, ESPN3 (via the WatchESPN app), ESPNEWS, TNT, and many other useful channels. It also has an impressive selection of on-demand content to keep you entertained long after the Playoffs are over. Learn more in our Hulu review.


AT&T TV NOW – $65/mo – free 7 day trial

AT&T TV NOW covers ESPN channels, NBA TV, and other valuable networks. It has a very impressive channel selection, with up to 125+ channels in total. Learn more in our AT&T TV NOW review.


YouTube TV – $50/mo – free 7 day trial

YouTube TV also covers many valuable channels for NBA fans, including ESPN and TNT. It’s got a slick DVR with unlimited storage. Learn more in our YouTube TV review.


NBA Playoffs TV Schedule

We don’t yet have the full NBA Playoffs schedule. You can check here for the latest updates.

Now that we know where and when to watch the NBA Finals, the only thing left for us to do is sit back and enjoy the game. So who are you pulling for in the finals? Sound off on social media or let us know in the comments below!