How to Watch the NBA Playoffs Online: Live Stream Basketball Without Cable

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.

The 2023 NBA playoffs are just days away.

As always, this year’s playoffs will see 16 teams battling it out for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Six teams from each conference are already guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, and the final four spots will be awarded to the winners of the NBA play-in tournament. Taking place this week, the single-elimination play-in tournament consists of the seventh through 10th-best teams in each conference.

If you’re looking to watch the play-in tournament — and the playoffs after that — read on. Below is a full guide on how to stream the NBA playoffs online, including a couple hacks that let you watch NBA playoff games for free online.

How to Watch the NBA Playoffs Online Free Without Cable

NBA playoff coverage is split between ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT this year, with ESPN and TNT also covering the play-in tournament.

However, for those of us without cable, it’s still quite easy to stream the NBA playoffs online. Below are some of the best streaming services that you can use to watch the NBA playoffs online in 2023.

Free Trial: fuboTV Pro Plan

Most Channels: DirecTV Stream Choice Package

Most Affordable: Sling Orange + Blue Plan

1. Stream the NBA Playoffs on fuboTV

free trial

fuboTV is the best way to watch the NBA playoffs online this year, delivering ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT in its most affordable package, the Pro plan. This plan costs $74.99 a month, but you get a seven-day free trial to start — use that to stream the NBA playoffs for free for a few games.

Buy Free Trial fuboTV

2. Stream the NBA Playoffs on DirecTV Stream

most channels

Another great way to watch the 2023 NBA playoffs online is DirecTV Stream. The robust streaming service’s Choice package delivers over 100 channels, including TNT, ESPN, NBA TV, and ABC (in most regions). The DirecTV Stream Choice package costs $84.99 a month, but the service has a 14-day money-back guarantee that you can take advantage of to effectively get free NBA playoff livestreams, as long as you cancel service within 14 days.

Buy Free Trial DirecTV Stream

3. Stream the NBA Playoffs on Sling

most affordable

For a slightly more affordable live TV streaming service, turn to Sling. You can get TNT, ESPN, and ABC livestreams as part of Sling’s Orange + Blue plan, which costs just $60 a month.

Buy Sling Orange + Blue $60

When Are the NBA Playoffs? 2023 Schedule

The 2023 NBA playoffs begin on April 15, and they’re preceded by the play-in which lasts from April 11 to 14. The 2023 NBA finals begin on June 1 and run until June 18, if necessary.

2023 Play-In Tournament Schedule (times in ET)


Atlanta Hawks (No. 8) at Miami Heat (No. 7): April 11, 7:30 p.m. on TNT
Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 8) at Los Angeles Lakers (No. 7): April 11, 10 p.m. on TNT
Chicago Bulls (No. 10) at Toronto Raptors (No. 9): April 12, 7 p.m. on ESPN
Oklahoma City Thunder (No. 10) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (No. 9): April 12, 9:30 p.m. on ESPN
Winner of Bulls vs. Raptors at loser of Hawks vs. Heat: April 14, 9:30 or 10 p.m. ET on TNT
Winner of Thunder vs. Pelicans at loser of Timberwolves vs. Lakers: April 14, 9:30 or 10 p.m. ET on ESPN

2023 NBA Playoffs Schedule (dates subject to change based on series’s results).

April 15: NBA playoffs 2023 begin
May 1-2: NBA playoffs conference semifinals
May 16-17: NBA playoffs conference finals
June 1-18: NBA finals

2023 NBA Playoffs Standings, Teams

The Golden State Warriors are this year’s defending NBA champions, but, as the No. 6 seed in the West, they just barely dodged the play-in tournament for a guaranteed spot in the 2023 playoffs.

In the Eastern conference, the Milwaukee Bucks have the top seed, followed by last year’s runners-up, the Boston Celtics. In the West, the Denver Nuggets are favored and the Memphis Grizzlies are the second seed.

Here’s a full ranking of all 20 currently teams vying for this year’s NBA championship.

Eastern Conference Standings
1. Milwaukee Bucks
2. Boston Celtics
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. New York Knicks
6. Brooklyn Nets
7. Miami Heat
8. Atlanta Hawks
9. Toronto Raptors
10. Chicago Bulls

Western Conference Standings
1. Denver Nuggets
2. Memphis Grizzlies
3. Sacramento Kings
4. Phoenix Suns
5. LA Clippers
6. Golden State Warriors
7. Los Angeles Lakers
8. Minnesota Timberwolves
9. New Orleans Pelicans
10. Oklahoma City Thunder