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How to stream the 2019 NBA playoffs for free

Keith Allison/Flickr (CC-BY-ND)

You won’t want to miss a game.

The stakes could not be higher for the 2019 NBA playoffs. The Golden State Warriors want to establish themselves as a legitimate dynasty; the Houston Rockets are peaking at the right time and with a healthy Chris Paul in tow; and the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, and Oklahoma City Thunder all want to prove they can compete at the highest level. In the Eastern Conference, LeBron James’ move to L.A. has left the field wide open: The Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, and Boston Celtics all seem determined to make it to this year’s NBA Finals.

But there’s more than just a championship on the line. With free agency looming, the 2019 NBA playoffs will likely determine whether stars like Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, and Klay Thompson will resign or look elsewhere—moves that will have a huge ripple effect across the league. 

Suffice to say, you won’t want to miss a game, and with the right live TV service, you don’t have to. Here’s everything you need to know to live stream the 2019 NBA playoffs. 

2019 NBA playoffs live stream: How to watch every game for free

The 2019 NBA playoffs will broadcast on ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV. We’ve outlined everything you need to know to live stream all the action, including the complete TV schedule. No matter which service you choose, you’ll start with a one-week trial, allowing you to watch the NBA playoffs online for free. 

1) Sling TV

Sling TV is your cheapest (and arguably best) option for streaming the 2019 NBA playoffs. Sling TV comes in two distinct packages, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, both of which cost $25 per month, or you can combine the two (Sling Orange + Blue) for $40 per month. All three of those packages are 40% off for new customers right now, which means you’ll pay either $15 or $25 per month for your first three months. You’ll want either Sling Orange or the combo package, which ensures you get a full suite of ESPN channels. While the service doesn’t carry ABC, you will be able to watch those games on ESPN3. To get NBA TV, you’ll need the Sling Orange Sports Extra Pack, which costs $5 per month and also includes NHL NetworkSEC NetworkPac-12 Network, and more. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.)

TRY SLING TV FOR FREE


2) Hulu with Live TV

stream nba finals free hulu channels Hulu

Hulu with Live TV

Hulu is already the best way to catch up on your favorite TV shows. The streaming service costs just $5.99 per month (with ads) and allows you to watch all of your favorite current (and classic) sitcoms and adult cartoons on demand, not to mention Hulu originals like The Handmaid’s Tale. But now you can watch live TV too. For $44.99 per month, Hulu with Live TV offers more than 60 channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, the CW, HGTV, TNT, and CNN, in addition to all of the local channels you’re used to seeing. (Here’s the complete list of Hulu Live TV channels.) You can also add premium channels like HBO and Showtime. The best part? You’ll get access to the rest of Hulu’s on-demand catalog for free, though you may want to consider upgrading to watch commercial-free.

Hulu with Live TV doesn’t offer a way to watch NBA TV, but if that’s not a deal breaker, it’s a great way to watch NBA games online. Plus, each subscription unlocks Hulu’s deep catalog of TV shows and movies, so you’ll have plenty to watch after the final whistle blows. For an extra $4 per month, you can upgrade to Hulu with No Commercials.  

TRY HULU LIVE TV FOR FREE


3) PlayStation Vue

Don’t let the name fool you: PlayStation Vue is a great live TV streaming option, and you don’t have to own a gaming console to use it. PS Vue works with Roku, Amazon Fire, and even Kodi. (It’s also the only live TV service available on PS4.) PlayStation Vue offers four different channel packages, starting at $44.99 per month. No matter which one you choose, you’ll get great channels like ESPN and ESPN2, AMC, BBC America, TBS, Disney Channel, and plenty more. To get NBA TV, you’ll need upgrade to the Core package for $49.99 per month. You’ll want to double-check what’s available in your area; ABC may only be available as an on-demand channel. If that’s the case, you should be able to use your credentials to watch those NBA games either on the ABC app or via WatchESPN. It’s also worth noting you can stream on up to five devices at once, making it a great option for families, and you’ll get unlimited cloud DVR. (Here are all of the PlayStation Vue channels.) 

TRY PLAYSTATION VUE FREE


4) YouTube TV

YouTube TV strikes a perfect balance between sports (MLB Network, NBA TV, a whole suite of ESPN channels), news (CNN, MSNBC, BBC World News), and entertainment (AMC, HGTV, TBS). There are a couple of drawbacks: You can’t add HBO or stream using Amazon Fire devices, and aside from Telemundo and NBC Universo, it’s lacking in Spanish channels. But you can create up to six accounts with each subscription, and each of those receives unlimited cloud DVR. That alone makes the service with considering. (You can find the full list of YouTube TV channels here.)

Like Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV offers just one package of channels, and it’s a stacked lineup for sports, with everything you need to stream NBA games. YouTube TV also includes FS1, Big Ten Network, SEC Network, and CBS Sports Network. (You can find the full list of YouTube TV channels here.)

TRY YOUTUBE TV FOR FREE


2019 NBA playoff bracket

2019 nba playoff bracket NBA/Instagram

2019 NBA playoffs schedule: Games tonight on TV

The second round of the NBA playoffs are slated to begin April 29, but they could be moved up a day or two, depending on how quickly first-round series wrap up. Likewise, the conference finals are scheduled to open May 14 but could be adjusted. Regardless, the NBA Finals will begin on May 30. We’ll update this schedule as more dates are confirmed.

All times ET.

Saturday, April 13

2:30pm, Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers (Game 1) | ESPN

5pm, Orlando Magic vs. Toronto Raptors (Game 1) | ESPN

8pm, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors (Game 1) | ABC

10:30pm, San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets (Game 1) | ESPN

Sunday, April 14

1pm, Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics (Game 1) | TNT

3:30pm, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers (Game 1) | ABC

7pm, Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks (Game 1) | TNT

9:30pm, Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets (Game 1) | TNT

Monday, April 15

8pm, Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers (Game 2) | TNT

10:30pm, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors (Game 2) | TNT

Tuesday, April 16

8pm, Orlando Magic vs. Toronto Raptors (Game 2) | TNT

9pm, San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets (Game 2) | NBA TV

10:30pm, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers (Game 2) | TNT

Wednesday, April 17

7pm, Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics (Game 2) | TNT

8pm, Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks (Game 2) | NBA TV

9:30pm, Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets (Game 2) | TNT

Thursday, April 18

8pm, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets (Game 3) | TNT

9pm, Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs (Game 3) | NBA TV

10:30pm, Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers (Game 3) | TNT

Friday, April 19

7pm, Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic (Game 3) | ESPN

8:30pm, Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers (Game 3) | ABC

9:30pm, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 3) | ESPN

Saturday, April 20

3pm, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets (Game 4) | TNT

5:30pm, Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs (Game 4) | TNT

8pm, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons (Game 3) | ESPN

10:30pm, Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz (Game 3) | ESPN

Sunday, April 21

1pm, Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers (Game 4) | ABC

3:30pm, Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers (Game 4) | ABC

7pm, Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic (Game 4) | TNT

9:30pm, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 4) | TNT

Monday, April 22

8pm, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons (Game 4) | TNT

10:30pm, Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz (Game 4) | TNT

Tuesday, April 23

TBD, Orlando Magic vs. Toronto Raptors (Game 5)* | TNT or NBA TV

TBD, Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers (Game 5)* | TNT or NBA TV

TBD, San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets (Game 5)* | TNT or NBA TV

TBD, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers (Game 5)* | TNT or NBA TV

Wednesday, April 24

TBD, Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks (Game 5)* | TNT or NBA TV

TBD, Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics (Game 5)* | TNT or NBA TV

TBD, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors (Game 5)* | TNT or NBA TV

TBD, Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets (Game 5)* | TNT or NBA TV

Thursday, April 25

TBD, Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic (Game 6)* | TNT or NBA TV

TBD, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets (Game 6)* | TNT or NBA TV

TBD, Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs (Game 6)* | TNT or NBA TV

TBD, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 6)* | TNT or NBA TV

Friday, April 26

TBD, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons (Game 6)* | ESPN or ESPNEWS

TBD, Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers (Game 6)* | ESPN or ESPNEWS

TBD, Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers (Game 6)* | ESPN or ESPNEWS

TBD, Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz (Game 6)* | ESPN or ESPNEWS

Saturday, April 27

TBD, Orlando Magic vs. Toronto Raptors (Game 7)* | TNT

TBD, Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers (Game 7)* | TNT

TBD, San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets (Game 7)* | TNT

TBD, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers (Game 7)* | TNT

Sunday, April 28

TBD, Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks (Game 7)*  | TNT

TBD, Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics (Game 7)* | TNT

TBD, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors (Game 7)* | TNT

TBD, Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets (Game 7)* | TNT

Austin Powell

Austin Powell

Austin Powell is the managing editor of the Daily Dot. His work focuses on the intersection of entertainment and technology. He previously served as a music columnist for the Austin Chronicle and is the co-author of The Austin Chronicle Music Anthology.