Watch NBA Playoffs Online: 2016 Playoffs & NBA Finals 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.

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Sling TV button

Update 6/21/16: Want to watch the NBA Draft? Check out our NBA Draft live stream guide for all the info you need!


The 2016 NBA playoffs are well underway, and fans all over are looking for a way to watch NBA playoffs online without cable! We’re down to the final game between the final 2 teams, and it’s the Warriors and Cavaliers fighting it out in the NBA Finals. Millions of people are tuning in to watch the league’s best teams continue their quest for the NBA Championship. Looking for info on how to watch a legal NBA Finals Game 7 live stream? We have all the info.

If you’re looking to stream NBA Finals playoff action, you should know that the Finals games will be broadcast exclusively on ABC and ESPN3 (ESPN’s digital network where all ABC games are simulcast.

What’s a cord cutter to do? How can you watch the NBA playoffs 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 NBA playoffs online for free with some of the free trials that are available.

Read on for all of the best options for enjoying the NBA playoffs streaming and NBA Finals Game 7 live stream at home or on the go…


Sling TV Offers NBA Playoffs Live Streaming for ESPN, TNT, and ABC Games

Sling TV

Sling TV (free 7-day trial) is the cheapest, most convenient 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 ($14 a month if you’re a T-Mobile customer; more on that below). And with the addition of the Sports Extra package ($5 per month), you can also catch the few games airing on ESPNews.

That means you’ll get to enjoy almost every single game when you watch the NBA playoffs streaming with Sling TV. The only games you won’t be able to see are those airing on NBA TV, but that’s a very small number of games and there currently isn’t any option for a legal NBA TV live stream during the playoffs (NBA League Pass doesn’t offer live stream NBA playoffs games).

You can even watch ABC games through Sling TV, doing away with your need to purchase an antenna. How? Just log into the WatchESPN app using your Sling TV information. Here, you will be able to access ESPN3, which plays all the NBA games on ABC! It’s another easy way to stream NBA playoffs games online with no cable subscription required. And to make it even easier, when the Sling TV user interface update launches in the near future, you’ll have ESPN3 baked into your guide, doing away with the need to log into the WatchESPN app.

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). Normally, ABC is in Sling’s Broadcast Extra package for an additional $5 a month, but for a limited time, it will be free to basic subscribers during the Finals. Don’t live in these markets? No worries. Since ESPN3 comes in the basic package and live streams the NBA games on ABC, this isn’t necessary for to watch NBA playoffs online.

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 channels (and growing) including AMC, A&E, HGTV and Disney.

For a limited time, Sling TV is offering a free Roku 2 or half off the Roku 3 if you prepay 3 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 discounted or free Roku, and the 3 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 Best of Live TV 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 a New Way to Watch NBA Playoffs Online

playstation vue

This year, there’s a new NBA playoffs live stream option available for NBA fans that wasn’t around on a national scale last year — PlayStation Vue. 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. Again, there’s no NBA TV with Vue, but you don’t need it to watch the NBA Finals online anyway.

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. The main drawbacks, however, are that Vue’s device support is currently lacking,  limited to PlayStation, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast. There is also iOS support, but there are mobile restrictions in place that severely limit your ability to watch on your phone or tablet outside of your home network. So, basically if you want to watch NBA playoffs streaming with Vue, you need to be at home to do so.

Read our PlayStation Vue review for more info.


Watch the NBA Playoffs on ABC Free with an Antenna

ABC is the only network TV station that is airing playoff basketball. 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. Here’s a list of what you can expect from ABC in each round of the playoffs:

  • Round 1–A few weekend afternoon games
  • Round 2–A few weekend afternoon games
  • Eastern Conference Finals–Split coverage with ESPN
  • Finals–Exclusively broadcast by ABC!

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.


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.

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:

nba l

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.


2016 NBA Playoff TV Schedule & Times

*All times Eastern (ET)

NBA Finals

Game 7: Sun, June 19, Cleveland @ Golden State, 8 p.m. (Game 7 live stream: ABC/ESPN3)

*If necessary

Have a friend looking to watch the NBA Playoffs online? Please share this guide on social media and help them out!


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Mr. Cable Cutter
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