The NBA playoffs start August 17. Portland won its play-in game and will face the Los Angeles Lakers. Defending champion Toronto will begin its title defense against the Brooklyn Nets. All the games are being played in Orlando. The conference finals begin on September 15. The finals will start September 30, wrapping up by October 13. NBA playoff matchups
(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (8) Portland Trail Blazers(2) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (7) Dallas Mavericks(3) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Utah Jazz(4) Houston Rockets vs. (5) Oklahoma City ThunderEastern Conference
(1) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (8) Orlando Magic(2) Toronto Raptors vs. (7) Brooklyn Nets(3) Boston Celtics vs. (6) Philadelphia 76ers(4) Indiana Pacers vs. (5) Miami HeatNBA playoffs TV schedule
Here’s where to stream NBA playoff games.
Monday, August 17
1:30pm ET: Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets (ESPN)4pm ET: Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors (ESPN)6:30pm ET: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics (ESPN)9pm ET: Dallas Mavericks vs. LA Clippers (ESPN)Tuesday, August 18
1:30pm ET: Orlando Magic vs. Milwaukee Bucks (TNT)4pm ET: Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers (TNT)6:30pm ET: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets (TNT)9pm ET: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers (TNT)Wednesday, August 19
1:30pm ET: Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors (NBA TV)4pm ET: Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets (TNT)6:30pm ET: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics (TNT)9pm ET: Dallas Mavericks vs. LA Clippers (TNT)Thursday, August 20
1pm ET: Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers (ESPN)3:30pm ET: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets (ESPN)6pm ET: Orlando Magic vs. Milwaukee Bucks (ESPN)9pm ET: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers (ESPN)Friday, August 21
1:30pm ET: Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets (NBA TV)4pm ET: Denver Nuggets vs. Utah Jazz (TNT)6:30pm ET: Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers (TNT)9pm ET: LA Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks (TNT)Saturday, August 22
1pm ET: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Orlando Magic (TNT)3:30pm ET: Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat (TNT)6pm ET: Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (ESPN)9pm ET: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers (TNT)Sunday, August 23
1pm ET: Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers (ABC)3:30pm ET: LA Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks (ABC)6:30pm ET: Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets (ABC)9pm ET: Denver Nuggets vs. Utah Jazz (ABC)Monday, August 24
1:30pm ET: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Orlando Magic (NBA TV)4pm ET: Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (TNT)6:30pm ET: Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat (TNT)9pm ET: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers (TNT)NBA League Pass: How to stream the NBA live
NBA League Pass is basically the all-you-can-watch plan. You’ll get all the out-of-market hoops you can handle starting at $28.99 during the 88-game sprint to the playoffs. While you won’t get your local team live if there’s a local broadcast carrying that, it will be reviewable for three days on your League Pass account once the final whistle blows.
If you want NBA TV and your streaming service doesn’t carry it (which we’ll cover in the next section), you can get NBA TV plus the All Teams, No Commercial version of League Pass for under $60. If you’re doing that, you might want to block out the two-week Return to Play, as there are some afternoon start times on a lot of the days—plus, NBA TV will give you coverage and insights to help satiate you between tip-offs.
Which streaming services carry ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT?
Here’s where to catch an NBA live stream.
Hulu Live TV
Hulu Live TV is a great way to stream live TV, as it comes with access to Hulu’s massive library of on-demand content. You’ll be able to choose from movies, shows, and Hulu’s original programming, and keep up with what’s new each month. Hulu plans even include a bundle option where you can access Disney+ and ESPN+ along with Hulu.
Hulu Live TV sets you up with local channels and has a broad spectrum of entertainment and sports channels to review, including Cartoon Network, FX, HGTV, and even deep cuts like National Geographic and Syfy. Hulu Live TV carries ESPN and TNT, plus ABC in some markets. (You’ll need NBA League Pass to get NBA TV.)
If you’re looking for a streamlined, cost-effective streaming package, check out Sling TV. It offers two basic cable packages, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, each of which costs $30 per month. There’s also the third option of getting Sling Orange + Blue for just $45 per month. You’ll get more Sling TV channels by choosing Sling Blue, with its 40 channels including sports favorites like FS1 and NBCSN and cable mainstays like Food Network and Discovery Channel. But Sling Orange brings must-haves Disney Channel and ESPN as part of its package. Sling also has a number of add-ons, including robust international packages organized by languages all over the globe.
To get ESPN on Sling, you need to go Sling Orange or Sling Orange + Blue, whereas all three options get you TNT. While ABC isn’t conventionally gettable on Sling, Air TV can hook you up.
How to use AirTV with Sling
AirTV solves one of the Sling’s biggest problems: The inability to receive all of your local channels. By purchasing a basic AirTV for $79.99 or the AirTV Player for $119.99, you can merge those local channels into your Sling TV, (or on your mobile device if you have the basic AirTV). As the Daily Dot wrote in its AirTV review, “It’s practically magic.”
The basic AirTV is a dual-tuner streaming device, while the AirTV Player is basically an upgraded Chromecast that has Netflix preinstalled. You’ll still need to own an HD antenna because even though AirTV gets you access to your local channels, it doesn’t actually physically show them to you.
But AirTV—which has no monthly fee—gives Sling users the ability to access all local channels to add to whichever Sling package is the best fit for them.
FuboTV started as a streaming service geared toward sports fans, but it’s evolved into a broadly-appealing option with entertainment and news options alongside its robust sports choices. Depending on the package, you can access as many as 181 FuboTV channels. If you’re looking to be entertained, Bravo, IFC, MTV, and VH1 are options even at Fubo’s most basic tier. The Fubo channel list still includes plenty of sports, including the Fubo Sports Network, which has original programming mixing sports and humor. The FuboTV cost starts at $54.99 a month. Disney Media favorites like the Disney Channel are coming on board in 2020, some who were on the fence about Fubo are giving it another look.
Of course, that also means ESPN and ABC are on the way but maybe not in time for Return to Play. If you’re at the Ultra level, you can get NBA TV, but TNT isn’t an option at any level. Your best bet as a Fubo subscriber is to splurge for league pass.
The YouTube TV channel list includes local channels, sports options including ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, FS2, and NBA TV, and plenty to keep kids (and kids at heart) occupied, including Disney Channel and its companion channels, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network—all in one easy-to-access package. It even comes with a few Spanish-language channels like Telemundo and NBC Universo. YouTube add-ons include HBO Max, Showtime, and Starz. YouTube TV packages have some advantages over their competitors, including a generous DVR and multiple screens package. From one account, each user can create an individual profile to track favorite shows.
Good news if you’re a YouTube TV subscriber: It sets you up with all four of the channels carrying Return to Play games. You won’t get all the action, but you’ll have games every day.
AT&T TV Now
If you’re already looking to AT&T for your wireless needs, you might consider AT&T TV Now to cover streaming for you. AT&T TV Now channels start with Plus and Max, which even include HBO. Then, AT&T plans expand from there, approaching cable selection and pricing with AT&T TV Now’s biggest packages. AT&T streaming also comes with Cloud DVR, letting you record up to 20 hours of TV per month. You’ll get ESPN, TNT, and ABC in all plans, but you’ll need to graduate to Xtra or Ultimate to get NBA TV.
Vidgo offers a package for under $40 a month that pulls together more than 60 English-language channels into its National English Package. Vidgo channels include ABC, Fox, the ESPN family of channels (including ESPN Deportes), and it’s one of the few streaming services that carries BeIN Sports. But it’s like Fubo in that, even though it started out for streaming sports, it carries a lot more now. So while NBA TV and TNT aren’t options, you can watch the ABC and ESPN games and chat about those online via Vidgo’s Social TV platform.
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