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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
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (40% off first month)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
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 Network, SEC Network, Pac-12 Network, and more. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.)
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- PlayStation Vue local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
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. Lucky for you, you can get 20% off the Core package for your first two months, and the deal is good through the playoffs. (Here are all of the PlayStation Vue channels.)
- Cost: $44.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Hulu local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
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.
4) YouTube TV
- Cost: $49.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- YouTube TV devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices
- YouTube TV local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
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.)
2019 NBA playoff bracket
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.
Thursday, April 25
8pm, Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs (Game 6) | TNT
Friday, April 26
10pm, Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers (Game 6) | ESPN
Saturday, April 27
8pm, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors (Game 1) | TNT
TBD, San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets (Game 7)* | TNT
Sunday, April 28
1pm, Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks (Game 1) | ABC
3:30pm, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors (Game 7)* | ABC
Monday, April 29
TBD, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors (Game 2) | TNT
Tuesday, April 30
TBD, Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks (Game 2) | TNT
Thursday, May 2
8pm, Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers (Game 3)
Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
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Austin Powell is the former 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.