NBA Live Stream: Here’s How to Watch the 2021-22 Basketball Playoffs

The 2022 NBA playoffs are scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 12 with the Play-In Tournament. On Saturday, April 16, the first-round action in both conferences tips off. The NBA Finals also have a firm start date on Thursday, June 2.

We're finally about to see the NBA's top 16 teams compete in order to determine the 2021-22 season’s NBA champion.

We're breaking down how you can watch and live stream the entire NBA playoffs this summer. From the NBA Play-In tournament all the to the Finals, we'll have you covered with picks, predictions, and key information.

As always, make sure you head over to our best sportsbooks page to get the best promo code offers and sportsbook reviews as well.

How Does the NBA Play-In Work?

There will be six total games involving eight teams as part of the play-in tournament, split up equally between the two conferences.

The teams that finish between the first and sixth in each conference will be guaranteed playoff spots, while the seventh through 10th seeds will enter the play-in. Any team that finishes worse than 10th enters the lottery for their 2022 NBA Draft pick.

Here's how the games will work:

  • Game 1: The seventh-seeded team in the standings by winning percentage will host the eighth-seeded team, with the winner earning the higher seed in the playoffs without needing to play another game. The losing team gets another chance to earn their spot with a win in Game 3.
  • Game 2: The ninth-seeded team will host the 10th-seeded team, with the winner moving on to Game 3 to face the loser of Game 1. The loser's season is then over, and their attention turns to the 2022 NBA draft lottery.
  • Game 3: The loser of Game 1 will host the winner of the Game 2 matchup. The triumphant team then solidifies their spot as the new eighth seed in the postseason. The loser of Game 3 also enters the lottery.

Ultimately, the teams with the seventh-highest and eighth-highest winning percentages earned the right to have two opportunities to win one game to earn a playoff spot. Meanwhile, the teams with the ninth-highest and 10th-highest winning percentages need to win two straight games to advance after struggling through the regular season more than their peers.

How Do the NBA Playoffs Work?

Of 30 total teams, the top 16 across the NBA at the end of the regular season qualify for the NBA playoffs. However, those 16 teams are not split equally based on their final record. Instead, the top eight teams in both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference advance to the postseason,. The teams are seeded No. 1 through No. 8 in each conference.

The first round of the playoffs is pretty straightforward when we break it down. The No. 1 seed in each conference plays the No. 8 seed. No. 2 plays No. 7, No. 3 faces No. 6, and No. 4 plays No. 5. The higher seeded team has the home-court advantage with the first two games at home and then Games 5 and 7. All playoff series are best-of-seven games.

The second round is a continuation of the bracket, as the winner of the No. 1-No. 8 series plays the winner of the No. 4-No. 5 series. The No. 3-No.6 winner faces the No. 2-No. 7 winner. The winners then proceed to battle for their respective conference championship.

Where and How to Watch and Live Stream the NBA Playoffs

You will need access to at least one of four channels that will be broadcasting games if you want to watch the 2022 NBA playoffs. The carriers of where to watch and live stream games can be convoluted, though.

ABC is the exclusive carrier of the NBA Finals. ESPN owns the rights to the Western Conference finals and TNT is the carrier of the Eastern Conference finals. Some first-round playoff games will be aired on NBA TV and others will be broadcast by regional sports networks.

Because games will air on each of these four networks, anyone interested in watching as much NBA playoff basketball as possible will need a streaming service that includes all four. Steaming services are simply a direct replacement for cable and satellite television. Games are streamed through an internet connection.

Sling TV

Sling TV is the most affordable way to stream TNT for the playoffs but is not all-encompassing. A regular subscription normally costs $35 a month but you can also take advantage of their special promo offer for $10 a month. Their live-streaming app service caters towards NBA fans with its Orange package, which offers access to TNT  and ESPN. Sling TV is great for tablet and mobile users as well.


ESPN Plus is basically a must for NBA playoff fans. For $5.99 a month, ESPN Plus offers every live playoff game airing on ESPN and ABC. The Western Conference finals will be televised exclusively on ESPN, and the NBA Finals on ABC, further incentivizing this affordable option.


FuboTV is the most expensive option available at $64.99, but it’s the only all-in-one streaming service. With FuboTV, you won't miss one second of the playoffs. The sports-focused streamer offers ESPN, TNT, NBC, and NBA TV on any device. You're paying a bit less than what used to be traditional cable prices, but it's pricy compared to what we've become used to.


The good news about subscribing to NBA TV is you'll get exclusive first-round streaming access to the less-popular matchups. However, NBA TV also offers every single NBA Finals matchup from the last 20 years. While other streamers may offer more live coverage, its $20 price tag pays off for viewers looking to return to the classics.

Youtube TV

With access to ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT, Youtube TV will have you covered with all the channels you’ll need for live coverage and analysis of the playoff games. Their price is steep, but now is the best time to go for their free one-month trial.

Hulu Plus

If you aren’t interested in NBA TV, Hulu is a slightly cheaper option for the three main channels you’ll need for the playoffs: ABC, ESPN, and TNT. Hulu Plus offers ad-free viewing for their deep catalogue of entertainment as well.

NBA PlayOff Odds and Offers

Naturally, we will have the latest information on NBA Playoff odds by analyzing our best betting provider partners. In order to maximize your returns on series and futures bets, we will update our odds tracker throughout the playoffs. Keep this page and the odds tracking page bookmarked for the most current information.

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