The NBA Finals officially began on Thursday, June 1st, between the Heat And Nuggets. This article will cover how the NBA Playoffs work, along with when and where you can stream each game live.
Watch the NBA Finals Free – You can live-stream the NBA Finals for free on ABC using a 5-day free trial to DIRECTV STREAM, a 7-day free trial to FuboTV, and a free trial to YouTube TV. Between the three you have enough time to watch the entire NBA finals, even if they go to game 7. Just be sure to cancel your service before the trial ends so you won’t be charged.
Alternatively, if you live near a metropolitan area, you can watch games on ABC for free using a TV antenna. I recommend trying this $25 Flat TV antenna, as it’s free to return if you have trouble getting ABC in your area. If you want a deeper dive into TV antennas, see our guide: How To Use a TV Antenna.
How The Playoffs Work
There will be 16 teams competing in this year’s NBA playoffs, 8 from the Eastern Conference and 8 from the Western Conference. The top 6 teams in each conference advance automatically to the first round of the NBA Playoffs starting April 15. The 7th through 10th ranked team in each conference will play a Play-In tournament to decide which two teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences move on to the First Round. Once the first round begins, teams play best of the 7 series until we have 2 teams left to compete in the NBA Finals on June 1.
Here is the current standing of both conferences. You can click the link for any team for a look at how to watch games for that specific team.
Milwaukee Bucks– eliminated by Heat in R1 Boston Celtics– eliminated by Heat in Conference Finals Philadelphia 76ers– eliminated by Celtics in R2 Cleveland Cavaliers– eliminated by Knicks in R1 New York Knicks– eliminated by Heat in R2 Brooklyn Nets– eliminated by 76ers in R1
- Miami Heat (play-in)
Atlanta Hawks(play-in) – eliminated by Celtics in R1 Toronto Raptors(play-in) Chicago Bulls(play-in)
- Denver Nuggets
Memphis Grizzlies– eliminated by Lakers in R1 Sacramento Kings– eliminated by Warriors in R1 Phoenix Suns– eliminated by Nuggets in R2 LA Clippers– eliminated by Suns in R1 Golden State Warriors– eliminated by Lakers in R2 Los Angeles Lakers(play-in) -eliminated by Nuggets in Conference Finals Minnesota Timberwolves(play-in) – eliminated by Nuggets in R1 New Orleans Pelicans(play-in) Oklahoma City Thunder(play-in)
How The Play-In Works
To decide the 7th and 8th seed for each conference in the playoffs, the 7th place team in each conference will play the 8th place team. The winner of that game will move on to the first round of the playoffs as the 7th seed. The loser of that game will play the winner of the game between the 9th and 10th placed team. The winner of that game will move on as the 8th seed in the first round of the playoffs. The current schedule of NBA Playoff games is in the next section.
2023 NBA Playoff Schedule
- April 11-14: NBA Play-In Tournament (TNT and ESPN)
- April 15: NBA playoffs 2023 begin (ABC, ESPN, TNT, NBA TV)
- May 1-2*: NBA conference semifinals begin (ABC, ESPN, TNT)
- May 16-17*: NBA conference finals begin (ABC, ESPN, TNT)
- June 1: Best of 7 Games NBA Finals Begin (ABC)
NBA Playoff TV Schedule
You can watch any of the channels airing NBA Playoff games in the table below with a 5-Day Free Trial to DIRECTV STREAM. For more details on all the options to watch the NBA postseason, see the Watch The 2023 NBA Playoffs section below.
|Date and Time (ET)||Home||Away||Network|
|Friday, Jun. 9 @ 8:30 PM||Miami Heat||Denver Nuggets||ABC|
|Monday, Jun. 12 @ 8:30 PM||Denver Nuggets||Miami Heat||ABC|
|Thursday, Jun. 15 @ 8:30 PM||Miami Heat||Denver Nuggets||ABC|
|Sunday, Jun. 18 @ 8:00 PM||Denver Nuggets||Miami Heat||ABC|
Watch The 2023 NBA Playoffs
The current NBA Playoff Schedule is shown in the next section. Games from the play-in Tournament will air on TNT and ESPN. The 2023 Eastern Conference Finals will air exclusively on TNT, while this year’s Western Conference Finals will air on ESPN, with the NBA Finals airing exclusively on ABC. Games will also air on NBA TV. Below is a summary of your Best Options to watch the NBA Finals
Sling’s Orange Package includes TNT and ESPN and costs only $40 per month and is currently $10 off your first month! You can also add NBA TV with the Sports Extra Add-on for an additional $11 per month. Furthermore, those living in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Fresno, Houston, and Raleigh will have access to ABC. (Sling adds a $5 per month broadcast fee in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco). If you don’t live in those areas, you can take a look at the other options I explain below. You could also try this $25 Flat TV antenna to see if you can get ABC for free in your area. See the bottom of this article for information on using a TV Antenna. See my guide on how to watch Sling TV for more information. Sling is supported on Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Amazon FireTV, and more.
DIRECTV STREAM provides TNT, ESPN, and ABC in their entertainment package for $74.99 per month after a 5-Day Free Trial. For the handful of games that may air on NBA TV, you can either upgrade to the “Choice” plan for $99.99 per month, or subscribe to NBA League pass for $14.99 per month as it includes NBA TV.
Hulu Live TV
Hulu also provides TNT, ESPN, and ABC in for $69.99 per month. You can sign up on Hulu’s Website. For the handful of games that may air on NBA TV, you subscribe to NBA League pass for $14.99 per month, as it includes NBA TV. See our review of Hulu Live TV for more information on this service.
YouTube TV is the least convoluted way to watch the NBA Playoffs as they provide TNT, ESPN, NBA TV, and ABC in for $72.99 per month. They offer a free trial when signing up. For the handful of games that may air on NBA TV, you subscribe to NBA League pass for $14.99 per month, as it includes NBA TV. You can see our review of YouTube TV for more information.
Watch The NBA Finals Using a TV Antenna
With the Finals airing on ABC, you can watch the series over the air for free using a TV antenna. Generally, if you live in a city or the suburbs, you can watch ABC over the air using something as simple as this $25 Flat TV antenna. The free return policy makes it no risk. If it doesn’t get the channels you want, you can return it for your money back.
You can see if ABC is available over the air using this FCC page. If the flat antenna doesn’t perform to your expectations, then check out the following instructional guides for more details on over-the-air TV.
- Learn How to Choose a TV Antenna
- Learn How to Use One Antenna for Multiple TVs
- Learn How to Ground a TV Antenna
- Learn how to Improve Antenna TV Reception
- Record from your Antenna with an Over the Air DVR
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