The NBA playoffs are nearly here. After the regular season wrapped on Sunday, we’ve reached the play-in stage to determine the final seeds in the Eastern and Western Conferences. Tuesday night brought the first batch of play-in games, with the Nets handling the Cavs and the Timberwolves rallying to take down the Clippers.
Both winners have now become the seventh seed in their respective conferences. For the Nets that means a date with the Boston Celtics, and for the Timberwolves a matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies.
The losers of Tuesday’s contests will have one more chance Friday night to win their way into the playoffs, taking on the winners of Wednesday’s play-in games. In the East that means the Cavs will take on the Atlanta Hawks, while in the West the Clippers will face the New Orleans Pelicans (though Los Angeles will be without superstar Paul George who has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols).
The Cavs and Hawks game is set for 7:30 pm ET (4:30 pm PT) on ESPN with the winner facing the Miami Heat. The Clippers and Pelicans will play at 10 pm ET (7 pm PT) on TNT, with the winner taking on the Phoenix Suns.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch or stream the play-in games and the rest of the NBA playoffs with or without cable.
NBA Playoffs FAQ
When are the play-in games?
Here is the schedule for the play-in games.
Friday, April 15
- Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 7:30 pm ET (4:30 pm PT) on ESPN
- New Orleans Pelicans vs. New Orleans Pelicans. Los Angeles Clippers, 10 pm ET (7 pm PT) on TNT
When do the NBA Playoffs start?
The NBA playoffs start on Saturday, April 16. Here is the schedule for those games as well as Sunday, April 17.
Saturday, April 16
- Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks, 1 pm ET (10 am PT) on ESPN
- Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 3:30 pm ET (12:30 pm PT) on ESPN
- Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 6 pm ET (3 pm PT) on ESPN
- Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors, 8:30 pm ET (5:30 pm PT) on ABC
Sunday, April 17
- Cavs/Hawks vs. Miami Heat, 1 pm ET (10 am PT) on TNT
- Brooklyn Nets vs. Brooklyn Nets. Boston Celtics, 3:30 pm ET (12:30 pm PT) on ABC
- Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 6:30 pm ET (3:30 pm PT) on TNT
- Clippers/Pelicans vs. Pelicans. Phoenix Suns, 9 pm ET (6 pm PT) on TNT
What does the full bracket look like?
What channels will broadcast playoff games?
The NBA Playoffs will air on a collection of networks including ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV.
The NBA Finals will begin on June 2 and air on ABC.
Best options for nationally broadcast games
As these games all air nationally, here are some of the best streaming options to make sure you catch all the basketball action.
YouTube TV costs $65 a month and offers all the channels you’ll need for basketball.
Sling TV’s Orange plan includes ESPN and TNT. NBA TV is available as part of the Sports Extra add-on, which costs $11 a month for the Orange plan.
While Sling lacks access to ABC, you can watch those games using the simulcast stream available on ESPN3.
FuboTV costs $70 per month and also includes ABC and ESPN but not TNT. You can add NBA TV for an extra $8 a month with the Fubo Extra Package or pay for the $80-a-month Elite streaming tier, which includes Fubo Extra.
DirecTV Stream’s cheapest, $70-a-month Plus package includes ESPN, ABC and TNT, but you’ll need to move up to the $90-a-month Choice plan to get NBA TV.
Hulu Plus Live TV costs $70 a month and carries six RSNs for basketball, along with ESPN, ABC, TBS and TNT, but not NBA TV.
Most live TV streaming services offer a free trial or discounts during the first month, allow you to cancel anytime and all require a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our.