With the conclusion of the actual home arenas as COVID-19 restrictions loosen — a welcome change after the bubble of 2020.and the play-in tournament, it’s time for the playoffs. NBA fans can look forward to high-stakes basketball nearly every day through early July, complete with real cheering by thousands of in-person attendees in
The playoffs continue Wednesday, with another set of Game 2s. The early matchup features the Wizards and 76ers at 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET) on NBA TV before a doubleheader kicks off on TNT. Up first for that network is the Hawks versus the Knicks at 4:30 p.m. PT (7:30 p.m. ET) with the Grizzlies taking on the Jazz in the final game of the night at 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET).
Here’s everything you need to know to watch live, no cable required.
What’s the schedule for the first round of the NBA playoffs?
The 2021 NBA playoffs started this past weekend and will continue throughout the first half of the summer. The Finals are scheduled to start July 8 and could end as late as July 22. As in past years, each playoff series potentially runs seven games.
Here’s the schedule for the next few days.
Wednesday, May 26
- No. 8 Washington Wizards at No. 1 Philadelphia 76ers, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on NBA TV (76ers lead series 1-0)
- No. 5 Atlanta Hawks at No. 4 New York Knicks, 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET on TNT (Hawks lead series 1-0)
- No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies at No. 1 Utah Jazz, 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET on TNT (Grizzlies lead series 1-0)
Thursday, May 27
- No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks at No. 6 Miami Heat, 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET on TNT (Bucks lead series 2-0)
- No. 2 Phoenix Suns at No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers, 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET on TNT (Series tied 1-1)
- No. 3 Denver Nuggets at No. 6 Portland Trail Blazers, 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV (series tied 1-1)
Friday, May 28
- No. 4 New York Knicks at No. 5 Atlanta Hawks, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on ESPN (Hawks lead series 1-0)
- No. 2 Brooklyn Nets at No. 7 Boston Celtics, 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET on ABC (Nets lead series 2-0)
- No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers at No. 5 Dallas Mavericks, 6:30 p.m. PT/9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN (Mavericks lead series 2-0)
Check out the full playoff schedule at NBA.com.
How can I watch the NBA playoffs on TV live without cable?
Four of the five majoroffer ESPN, TNT and ABC (all but Sling TV), but not every service carries your local ABC station, so check the links below to make sure it’s available in your area. Sling, to its credit, will be simulcasting the games that air on ABC.
If you have FuboTV, you’ll need something else to catch the games on TNT. Getting NBA TV, which will have some coverage as well, may require an additional fee.
Our top picks? For the most complete option — and a better app — check out YouTube TV. If you want to get all the games for the cheapest rate, Sling TV is the pick.
Google’s live TV streaming service offers all the channels you’ll need for the NBA playoffs for $65 per month.
Sling TV’s Orange package offers ESPN and TNT for $35 per month. While it does not carry ABC, Sling says it will simulcast the games that air on ABC through ESPN3. Getting NBA TV, however, requires the additional $11 per month Sports Extra add-on.
Hulu Plus Live TV costs $65 a month and includes three of the channels you’ll need for the NBA Playoffs, with the exception being NBA TV.
AT&T TV’s basic Entertainment package costs $70 and carries ABC, ESPN and TNT. To get NBA TV, however, you will need to upgrade to the $85 per month Choice option.
Will fans be allowed at the games?
Whereas the 2020 playoffs took place in a Walt Disney World bubble in Orlando, Florida, the NBA has played its 2020-21 season in regular arenas with fans increasingly coming back to stadiums as local COVID-19 restrictions have eased. Fans are allowed at playoff games this year, though the exact number in each venue will vary.