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Terrell Smith

How to watch 2024 NBA playoffs: stream online or watch on TV

Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic.

After 82 games of high-stakes basketball, the NBA playoffs are finally here to determine which team will be crowned the 2024 NBA champion. 

HTW 2024 NBA playoffs

This year was again led with impressive performances from the league's top stars including, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Nikola Jokić, Steph Curry, Jayson Tatum, Luka Dončić and Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, no matter how impressive their talents may have proved to be over the course of the regular season, they'll need to take things to another level as only one team can walk away with the championship. 

With there being a play-in tournament and best-of-seven games series for eight teams from the Eastern Conference and eight from the Western Conference, we've put together this guide so you have just about all you need to know on how, where and when you can watch the 2024 NBA playoffs. So without further delay, let's jump right into all the key information. 

How to watch the NBA playoffs in the US

NBA playoff games are going to air across ESPN, ABC, TNT and NBA TV, with the NBA Finals airing entirely on ABC.

ABC is one of the US' main four broadcast networks that is available to anyone with a traditional pay-TV subscription or a TV antenna. If you've moved away from cable/satellite TV to a live TV streaming service, ABC is available on popular services such as DirecTV, Fubo, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV.

ESPN and TNT, meanwhile, are premium cable channels and are widely available with both traditional cable TV subscriptions (double check with your local provider) and live TV streaming services. If you're looking for the latter, ESPN is available on DirecTV, Fubo, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV (specifically Orange) and YouTube TV; TNT is available on DirecTV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV (both Blue and Orange) and YouTube TV.

Additionally, for those with a subscription to Max, the platform will also live-stream select playoff games (the ones simultaneously airing live on cable/satellite TV on TNT). 

Then there is NBA TV, which while not available as a standard channel on DirecTV, Fubo, Sling TV or YouTube TV, can be added as part of an add-on bundle on all the services. You can also access NBA TV broadcasts through NBA League Pass.

How to watch NBA playoffs in the UK

For those interested in watching NBA playoff games in the UK, we expect select games to become available across Discovery Plus and BBC iPlayer. Discovery Plus has been a hub for NBA games shown on TNT in the US during the regular season, while BBC has streamed select games. 

Once we have confirmation of the scheduling and platforms for the tournament, we pass along the update. NBA League Pass is also an option for basketball fans in the UK.

How to watch the NBA playoffs from anywhere

If you're going to be away from your normal TV setup but still want to watch the NBA playoffs, you might run into some problems. Thankfully, you can solve this exact issue with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). 

A VPN lets you change your IP address to that of the area of what you want to watch, meaning you can tune in to your favorite events or other content even if you're not there. Our favorite is NordVPN, which is the No. 1-rated VPN in the world right now according to our sister site, TechRadar.

How to use a VPN to watch any stream

  • Download the app at NordVPN
  • Choose the location of the streaming service you want to watch (UK, US, etc)
  • Navigate to the streaming service and start watching!

NBA playoffs bracket

Take a look at the 2024 NBA playoff bracket as of April 25: 

(Image credit: ESPN)

NBA playoffs FAQs

Who made the 2024 NBA playoffs?

Twelve teams, six each from the Eastern and Western conferences, have locked in their spots in the NBA playoffs based on their regular season records. There are also four teams in each conference still competing for the last two spots in the first round of the playoffs, which will be determined by the play-in games. 

Here are all the teams set to compete in the NBA playoffs:

Eastern Conference:

1. Boston Celtics
2. New York Knicks
3. Milwaukee Bucks
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Orlando Magic
6. Indiana Pacers
7. 76ers
8. Miami Heat

Western Conference:

1. Oklahoma Thunder
2. Denver Nuggets
3. Minnesota Timberwolves
4. Los Angeles Clippers
5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Phoenix Suns
7. Los Angeles Lakers
8. New Orleans Pelicans

How does the NBA play-in tournament work?

The final two seeds in each conference are up for grabs, and the 7-10 seeds in both conferences are dueling it out to see who will earn the final spots. 

To determine the No. 7 seed, the teams with the seventh and eighth best records play each other, with the winner automatically advancing to the playoffs in the No. 7 position in their respective conference. The losing team is not officially eliminated, but instead plays another game to try for the No. 8 seed.

The opponent in that game is determined by who wins the matchup between the ninth and tenth best teams in the conferences. The winner of that game moves on to the No. 8 seed game, while the losing team is officially eliminated from contention.

The winner of the No. 8 seed games then takes the final spot in each conference.

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