The 2019 NBA playoffs are roughly midway through round one, and all 16 playoff teams are in action this weekend, including the Celtics vs. Pacers and Raptors vs. Magic on Friday night, and the Warriors vs. Clippers on Sunday afternoon.
Here’s the full 2019 NBA playoff schedule, or at least what we know about it for the time being. We’ll all have to wait to see which NBA playoff series get pushed to seven games, and which series could feature unexpected upsets, as they play out over the next few weeks.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch the 2019 NBA playoffs — online or on TV, for free.
What Channel Are the NBA Playoffs on?
The NBA playoff games are being shown on a variety of channels — including TNT, ESPN, NBA TV, and ABC, plus regional cable sports channels with broadcast rights to the local pro basketball teams.
It can be confusing, because no single channel is broadcasting the entirety of any series. So we’ve listed the 2019 NBA playoff schedule for the near future below. In addition to the national channels broadcasting the NBA playoffs, your local team’s playoff games may be airing on a regional sports channel in your area that’s probably included with basic cable or satellite TV packages and live-streaming TV bundles.
Friday, April 19
• Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
• Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers, 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC
• Portland Trailblazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Saturday, April 20
• Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets, 3 p.m. ET on TNT
• Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs, 5:30 p.m. ET on TNT
• Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
• Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz, 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Sunday, April 21
• Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers, 1 p.m. ET on ABC
• Golden State Warriors vs. LA Clippers, 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC
• Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic, 7 p.m. ET on TNT
• Portland Trailblazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT
Monday, April 22
• Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons, 8 p.m. ET on TNT
• Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz, 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT
How to Watch the NBA Playoffs for Free
If you have a satellite or cable TV subscription, it probably comes with most or all of the channels broadcasting NBA playoff games. Simply tune in to the corresponding channel to watch the Celtics vs. Pacers, Spurs vs. Nuggets, Warriors vs. Clippers, or any other matchups you want.
If you don’t have cable and want to watch the 2019 NBA playoffs, it’s a little more complicated but still possible in several different ways — online and on TV.
Let’s start with the NBA playoff games you can watch for free without cable, because they are being broadcast on ABC — like the Celtics vs. Pacers on Friday and Sunday, April 21, and the Warriors vs. Clippers game also on Easter Sunday. You can buy a decent digital TV antenna for $25 to $40, and once it’s connected to your TV it will provide unlimited free broadcasts of free, over-the-air networks like ABC, NBC, Fox, and CBS.
An HDTV antenna works similarly to an old-fashioned “rabbit ears” antenna, only the broadcasts come through in hi-def and you often get to tune in far more channels for free. The channels you can watch for free with a digital antenna may vary, though, based on where you live, the strength of your antenna, and where the antenna is positioned in your home. But people in most of the country should be able to watch all the major broadcast networks for free with a digital antenna — and that includes the 2019 NBA playoffs on ABC.
How to Live Stream NBA Playoff Games for Free
If you’re hoping to watch the NBA playoffs for free when they are airing on ESPN, TNT, or another pay channel, consider signing up for a free trial of live-streaming TV service that includes these channels in its bundle.
Here are the live-streaming TV options that will let you watch the NBA playoffs online for free, at least for a week or so, by way of free trials lasting five to seven days:
• DirecTV Now: From $50 per month for 60+ channels, including TNT and ESPN (but not NBA TV)
• Fubo TV: From $40 per month for around 75 channels, including TNT and NBA TV (but not ESPN)
• Hulu Live: From $45 per month for 50+ channels, including ESPN and TNT (but not NBA TV)
• PlayStation Vue: From $50 per month for 50+ channels, including ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV
• Sling TV From $15 per month for over 30 channels, including ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV
• YouTube TV: From $50 per month for 60+ channels, including ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV
In addition to the channels highlighted above, many of these services include regional sports channels in their live-streaming TV packages. You can plug in your zip code at each service’s site to see the exact list of channels available with streaming packages in your area.
All of these live-streaming TV packages come with free trials, thereby allowing you to watch the NBA playoffs online for free for about a week — or longer, if you sign up for a free trial with more than one service. Just remember that you will be charged in full for the first month if you do not cancel before the free trial ends.
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