How to Watch NBA Playoffs 2021 Without Cable

By Sachin Sharma / May 20, 2021

The eagerly awaited NBA playoffs are almost upon us, and some of the world's best basketball players will take center stage in what promises to be a thrilling month of action. Sixteen teams will give their blood, sweat, and tears as they look to end the season by lifting the famous Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.

We could be in for some intriguing matches during the NBA post-season, and it will certainly be interesting to see who comes out on top in the end. Ahead of the NBA playoffs, we have all the information you need to watch the games live from anywhere in the world without cable.

What Is the NBA Playoffs 2021 Schedule?

The 2021 NBA playoffs will happen on Saturday, May 22, with the finals due to get underway by July 08 at the latest. The 2021 NBA champions will be crowned by July 22, depending on how many games are required to decide the winners.

As always, teams will take part in a best of seven series for every round of the NBA playoffs. The team that gets four wins first will advance to the next round.

How to Watch the NBA Playoffs 2021 Online From Anywhere?

Coverage of the NBA playoffs will once again be shared by TNT, ESPN, ABC, and NBA TV in the United States. The broadcasting rights are split between multiple networks, with all three networks having a pick of the games they want to broadcast.

If you live abroad or are traveling away from the United States, catching the NBA playoffs live may prove to be tricky, as most of the streaming services and network channels are geo-blocked. So to watch the NBA playoffs, you will need an active VPN subscription. A VPN will mask your real location and make it look like you are based in the United States.

We recommend using ExpressVPN, which is one of the most used VPNs in the world. It will allow you to choose from hundreds of different locations, and it works with almost every streaming service. To get an ExpressVPN subscription, all you have to do is go to its website, fill out the required details, pay the subscription fee and then download the app.

Getting an ExpressVPN subscription will also entitle you to an amazing 49% OFF deal. What's more, you will also get a 30-day money-back guarantee, making ExpressVPN a great bang for the buck. If you are looking for a different VPN service, here you can take a look at our best VPN services available at the moment.

How to Watch NBA Playoffs Without Cable in the US?

The 2021 NBA playoffs will be broadcast in the United States by TNT, ESPN, ABC. None of the games will be broadcast on all three networks, so you will need a subscription to all three if you want to catch every game - or you could subscribe to one of the many available streaming services, which could give you unrestricted access to all three networks. Having a streaming service subscription will also allow you to watch the NBA playoffs on the go on your preferred devices.

Here are some of the streaming services that will give you access to the NBA playoffs.

Hulu + Live TV

You can also stream the NBA playoffs live on Hulu + Live TV, which has ABC, TNT, and ESPN. Hulu features just one bundle of over 60 channels, and a monthly subscription costs $64.99, giving you access to both the Live TV and On-Demand service. So you basically get two platforms in one and access to extra packs and premium channels if you are interested in those. Here you can read our review for Hulu Live TV for more details on the service.


If you want to watch the NBA playoffs and tons of other live sporting events, fuboTV is the right service for you. It streams a wide variety of live sporting events and has channels that will perfectly meet all your needs. It offers ABC and ESPN as part of its three available packages: Starter, Pro, and Elite. The Starter pack $64.99 per month, Pro costs $69.99 per month, while Elite is $79.99 per month.

Even though fuboTV does not have TNT, you can get NBA TV by purchasing the fubo Extra add-on, which costs $7.99 per month. For more information, you can read our fuboTV review here.

Sling TV

Another great option to watch the NBA playoffs live is Sling TV. ESPN and TNT are both available on the Orange pack of Sling TV. It does not, however, give you access to ABC. The Orange bundle costs $35 per month and includes various channels for sports, entertainment, and the whole family.

If you want to get NBA TV, you can do so by purchasing the Sports Extra add-on, which costs $15 per month. To read our review for Sling TV and find out more details on the product, click here.

YouTube TV

You can also watch the NBA playoffs live on YouTube TV - it is the perfect fit for dedicated NBA fans who want to watch every game live. It has 85+ channels, including ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT as part of its bundle. A monthly subscription is $64.99, and there are also some extras and some pretty nice perks with YouTubeTV. Here is our YouTube TV review.

NBA League Pass

You can also watch live NBA action on the NBA League Pass. A monthly subscription to the NBA League Pass + NBA TV costs $35.98. However, do keep in mind that it will not broadcast the playoff games live, but you will get access to on-demand full-game replays, expert analysis, and other content.

Read More: How to Bypass NBA League Pass Blackout Restrictions (Using a VPN)

Which Teams Are in the NBA Playoffs 2021?

A total of 16 teams will take part in the 2021 NBA playoffs. Defending champions Los Angeles Lakers have yet to seal their passage to the playoffs and will have to overcome Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament to qualify. Runner-ups Miami Heat has once again qualified for the playoffs and could be one of the dark horses to win the tournament.

Also in contention will be the star-studded Brooklyn Nets, who have one of the most talented trios in the NBA at the moment. The Utah Jazz had the best record over the regular season, and it will certainly be interesting to see how they fare in the playoffs. Other contenders include the Philadelphia 76ers, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, and Dallas Mavericks.

The remaining teams who have qualified for the playoffs include the New York Knicks, the Atlanta Hawks, the Boston Celtics, and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Which Players Will Participate in the NBA Playoffs 2021?

The NBA features some of the world's best and most well-known basketball players in the world. And this year's playoffs will be no different. The 2021 NBA playoffs feature a star-studded lineup of players, which includes LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, and several other world-class stars.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis came out on top last season, with the Lakers winning the NBA championship. The former was named Finals MVP, and he will be aiming to win his fifth NBA title this season.

Several young stars could also make a name for themselves and forever become etched in history. Luka Doncic, Devin Booker, Jason Tatum, Ben Simmons, Trae Young, and Bam Adebayo are some of those players.

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