Watch NBA Playoffs Online without Cable: 2018 NBA Playoffs Live Stream Guide

NBA Playoffs Book Cover NBA Playoffs

The NBA Playoffs are here, and it's set to be an exciting postseason! Want to know how you can watch an NBA playoffs live stream without cable? We have all your options.

Where to Watch Online:

DirecTV Now button (free 7-day trial)

Sling TV button (free 7-day trial)

(free 5-day trial)


UPDATE 12/28/17: The playoffs are over but the 2017-2018 NBA season is happening. Click to learn how to watch the NBA online.

The 2017 NBA playoffs are reaching their end with the Finals underway, and fans have found great ways to watch NBA playoffs online without cable! And now we’re down to the two best teams with the NBA Finals beginning. If you’re looking for an NBA Finals live stream, you’ve found the right place!

So what’s a cord cutter to do? How can you watch the NBA Finals online live without cable? Good news. This year, there are more legal options for getting an NBA playoffs live stream than ever before. You can even watch online free with some of the free trials that are available.

Read on for all of the best options for enjoying the NBA playoffs streaming at home or on the go…


Watch the Playoffs Online with DIRECTV NOW


For the 2017 season, DIRECTV NOW presents a great way to watch NBA Playoffs online without cable for the entirety of the tournament. This service is a cable-free online streaming service that offers 60+ channels for $35 per month. Larger packages are also available. You can use the service to stream NBA Playoffs games on your computer, smartphone, tablet, or on your TV via a streaming device. Here are the highlights of DIRECTV NOW:

  • You can get ESPN, ESPN2, TNT and ABC in the basic package for $35 per month
  • NBA TV and ESPNews are also available in a larger package
  • These channels combined will cover ALL the Playoffs games!
  • Watch live on most devices, without cable
  • No contract, no commitment
  • Easy to use, and easy to cancel
  • Free 7-day trial available!

Now, a couple important details: first, in regards to ABC Network. ABC will host quite a few Playoffs games, so it’s an important channel to have. DIRECTV NOW’s offering of ABC itself is fairly limited, and currently only offered in a handful of cities around the country. However, never fear – ABC-hosted NBA games will also air on ESPN3, and ESPN3 is available via the WatchESPN App (and, you can access WatchESPN using your DIRECTV NOW login). In other words, you can use your DIRECTV NOW account to access WatchESPN, and when a game airs on ABC, you’ll be able to watch it via that app.

Secondly, to get NBA TV and ESPNews, you’ll need the Go Big package, which is $60 per month. However, these two channels will only host a handful of games, so this isn’t strictly necessary if you don’t need to watch 100% of NBA Playoffs game live streams. The vast majority of NBA Playoffs game streams will air on channels that are included in DIRECTV NOW’s basic $35/month package. Want more information? Check out our DIRECTV NOW review.

DIRECTV NOW offers a FREE 7-day trial for new members!


Sling TV Offers the NBA Playoffs Live Stream

Sling TV reviews

Sling TV (free 7-day trial) is the cheapest way to stream NBA playoffs games online live without cable. Why? Because they carry ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 (offers simulcasts of all ABC games), and TNT in their basic package of channels for $20 a month with no contract. And with the addition of the Sports Extra package ($5 per month), you can also catch the few games airing on ESPNews and NBA TV.

That means you’ll get to enjoy every single game when you watch the NBA playoffs streaming with Sling TV. To get all the networks you need, you’ll want to get the basic Sling Orange for $20 per month, then add the Sports Extra package for $5 per month. This gives you a total of 35+ channels for $25 per month, including all channels necessary for NBA Playoffs streaming. ALL the games will air on one of the included networks. Plus, you’ll also get tons of other great networks to enjoy!

It’s also worth noting that Sling does carry local ABC affiliates in select markets (Chicago, Fresno-Visalia, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, San Francisco). Don’t live in these markets? No worries. Since ESPN3 comes in the basic package and live streams the NBA games that air on ABC, this isn’t necessary for to watch NBA playoffs online. All ABC-hosted games will also air on ESPN3, which is included.

Here are some key features to know about Sling TV:

  • Month-to-month–Cancel any time.
  • Stream to supported devices–Streaming players for TV (Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox), iOS phones and tablets, Android phones and tablets, and computers. No mobile restrictions means you can stream NBA playoffs online anywhere you go in the US.
  • Inexpensive–Starting at $20 a month.
  • Free 7-day trial–Essentially, you can watch NBA playoffs online a whole week for free.
  • Several channels–Well over 60 channels are available including AMC, A&E, HGTV and Disney.

For a limited time, Sling TV is offering a free Roku device if you prepay 2 months of service. This is a great way to get a top-rated streaming player so you can watch NBA playoffs online on your TV to enjoy all the action. So you get a free Roku to watch the Playoffs on your TV, and the 2 months will be plenty to allow you to watch the NBA playoffs online from start to finish.

If you’re a T-Mobile customer, there’s another deal you should know about. Watch all of your favorite NBA teams on your qualifying T-Mobile device with Sling TV’s newest promotion. As a T-Mobile customer, you can save 30% each month for up to 12 months on the Sling Orange package — that means you pay only $14/month. Add in the Sports Extra package ($5 extra dollars) and for $19/month you can watch as much basketball as you can handle. You can cancel at anytime. Learn more about this offer and start your free 7-day trial here.

Click here to try Sling TV free for 7 days and enjoy a NBA playoffs live stream at no cost for a week. It’s a great way to watch NBA playoffs online for free all week!


PlayStation Vue Offers Another Way to Watch NBA Playoffs Online without Cable

PlayStation Vue presents another NBA Playoffs live stream option for the 2017 Playoffs. Like Sling TV, Sony’s streaming service offers a selection of popular pay TV channels streamed live to your devices. With Vue, you’ll also get access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 (through the WatchESPN app; ABC is only available on demand nationally so it’s useless for live sports viewing), and TNT. NBA TV is also included in some packages.

If you’re planning to watch the NBA Playoffs online through PlayStation Vue, you should know about a few things. The price starts at $29.99 a month, which is $10 more than Sling TV’s monthly fee (or twice as much if you’re a T-Mobile customer on Sling), but it does come with more channels. There are also some mobile viewing restrictions that make it difficult to watch the service from outside of your home. Read our PlayStation Vue review for more info.

PlayStation Vue now offers a FREE 5-day trial for new members. It’s another easy way to watch NBA Playoffs online free.


Watch the NBA Playoffs on ABC Free with an Antenna

ABC is the only network TV station that is airing playoff basketball without cable. Many games throughout the playoffs, including the NBA Finals, will air on ABC. That means that with an antenna like the Mohu Leaf or the Winegard FlatWave you can get all ABC games aired in high quality HD. Check out our complete guide to choosing the best TV antenna.

And with a DVR like the Tablo, you can record all the ABC games and play them back at your convenience. You can also pause the games live, as well as skip commercials. It’s another way to enjoy the NBA playoffs streaming. Our DVR comparison guide has more info.


Watch a Small Selection of TNT Games Free on TNT Overtime

TNT broadcasts a bunch of games throughout the first 2 rounds of the playoffs. They also have exclusive rights to the Western Conference Finals. But how does that help a cord cutter, since TNT is a cable station?

TNT also offers TNT Overtime, a site where you can watch NBA playoffs online…well, a small selection of the playoffs, anyway. So far, it seems about half of the TNT playoffs games will also be available on Overtime. You can check out the TNT Overtime schedule here to watch NBA Playoffs online free for select games.

The site offers an interesting interactive experience. There are 4 camera angles to choose from, or you can choose to view all of them at once in a 4-way split screen window. Fans also get to vote on which player they want one of the cameras to follow throughout the game. It’s certainly an interesting way to stream NBA playoffs games on your devices.

Want to watch this unique NBA playoffs live stream from your phone or tablet? You can watch from the NBA Game Time app. Get it for your Apple devices here and for Android here.

Some people love the interactive experience of TNT Overtime, while others find the unusual camera angles annoying. Whatever the case, it’s a good way to watch the NBA playoffs online if you can’t do the other options.


Can I Watch NBA Playoffs Online with NBA League Pass?

No, if your answer is to watch NBA playoffs online with NBA League Pass, you’ll be disappointed. NBA League Pass does not offer NBA playoffs live stream due to restrictions caused by their playoff TV deals. Here’s what they have to say about it:

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Luckily, just within the last year, options for NBA fans have grown. It’s now legally possible for us to watch the NBA playoffs online live without cable, and without a service like NBA League Pass.


Have a friend looking to watch the NBA Playoffs online? Please share this guide on social media and help them out! You can also check out our guide on how to watch basketball online, as well as how to watch sports online.