The 2022 NBA playoffs are here. Sports fans are excited to watch the Phoenix Suns, who had the best record in the league, and the Miami Heat, who dominated the Eastern Conference. But if you’ve cut the cord or want to watch the NBA playoffs online, it can be really confusing.
Blackouts make it a hassle to find who is streaming the best matchups.
If you’re in a hurry, we can help you watch the NBA playoffs in 3 easy steps in the next section. And if you’re not in a rush, we’ve packed this guide with everything you need to know to begin watching the playoffs unfold.
How to Stream the NBA Playoffs in 3 Easy Steps
If you want to begin streaming the 2022 NBA playoffs immediately, these three steps will help you use a VPN to get started watching tonight’s games.
1. Sign Up for a VPN to Get Started
VPNs help you bypass censorship and streaming restrictions. For example, with the NBA having strict rules on viewing games, you’ll struggle through blackouts if you live in an area where the game is being aired.
A VPN allows you to tunnel into a server in a different location and view the game.
You’ll need to sign up for a VPN to get started. We recommend ExpressVPN because you’ll have thousands of servers in 90+ countries that you can use. For us, it’s our best rated VPN, so you won’t have to worry about buffering or any issues when streaming.
Signing up will require you to:
- Enter your email address
- Pay for the service
You can go to the official ExpressVPN site to get started with the signup process.
2. Setup Your VPN and Connect to a Server
Once you sign up for ExpressVPN, you’ll receive an email with all of the instructions on setting up your VPN. The process will go something like this:
- Download the app for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Firestick, Chromecast – whatever you’re on, there’s an app.
- Install the app by just following the prompts.
- Sign in to the app with your credentials.
- Work through the subsequent prompts.
Once you’re done, the app will have a power icon in the middle and a selected Smart Location beneath it with a country and city name listed. The default location is often a fast, optimized server, but if it’s in an area with a blackout, click on it and change to another server.
Ideally, the server will be outside of the two team’s respective viewing regions.
For example, if you want to watch the Miami Heat, choose a server from a state other than Florida. Finally, click the power button and if the connection is successful, you’ll receive a “connected,” message.
3. Fire Up a Streaming Site or App and Watch
Since you’re connected, now open up the app or streaming site that you want to use to watch the game. You shouldn’t be hit with a “this game is blacked out” message. However, if you are still blacked out, follow the instructions in Step 2 and choose a server in a different location.
It’s really that easy to begin watching the NBA playoffs. While we walked you through the entire setup process for ExpressVPN and how to get started with your streaming, we do want you to know where to watch the 2022 NBA playoffs.
Let’s discover a few of the best places to begin watching the playoffs without cable.
How to Watch the 2022 NBA Playoffs Without Cable
Many people have cut the cord and said “goodbye” to cable once and for all. It’s nice to save money by ditching cable, and the exodus has also been great for sports fans because it has led to more streaming and viewing options.
Plus, if you’re always on-the-go, you might not have had time to watch games on your television.
Thankfully, you can watch the 2022 NBA playoffs anywhere using the three options below.
1. NBA League Pass
NBA League Pass came out in the 1995 – 1996 season, and it’s operated by Turner Broadcasting Systems. Fans can pay for the streaming service either monthly or annually, and there’s a regular and premium option available.
Premium is an ad-free option that costs more, but you don’t need to deal with ads.
NBA League Pass vs. NBA League Pass International
Many viewers in the US don’t realize that there are:
- NBA League Pass
- NBA League Pass International
The International version is, honestly, better. International viewers never have to deal with blackout restrictions, and they have access to:
- All Star Weekend
- NBA Playoffs
- Regular season games
If you can, sign up using your VPN from an international location, and you can avoid blackouts.
ExpressVPN works effortlessly with NBA League Pass. All you need to do to begin watching the 2022 NBA playoffs is to connect to a server, fire up your NBA League Pass app and begin watching.
2. Streaming Services
Paid streaming services are also capitalizing on the 2022 NBA playoffs. These services allow you to seamlessly watch the playoffs. A few of the streaming services available that do offer the NBA, include:
- Sling states that they have every game, and you’ll be able to watch games from NBA TV, ESPN, ESPN3 and TNT. You’ll need to use your email address to sign up, a credit or debit card and can expect to pay $35 a month for the service. Apps are available for all platforms.
- Hulu has a Live TV option that allows you to watch CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN and many others. Apps are available for all platforms, and you’ll pay $69.99 for the service. But that includes Hulu, Disney+, Live TV and ESPN+.
- YouTube TV also has the 2022 NBA playoffs, and it’s very similar to Hulu in terms of channel lineup. You’ll pay $64.99 for the service and get 85+ channels that you can watch.
If you want to try these services first, free trials are available.
3. Streaming Service Free Trials
Most streaming platforms offer a free trial because consumers are hesitant to use a service they’ve never tried before. You can find these free trials on the following
- Sling doesn’t offer a free trial at the time of writing this, but they do offer 50% off your first month of service
- Hulu has a 7-day free trial for all new subscribers, but you need to cancel within this timeframe or you’ll be charged for the entire month
- YouTube offers a 14-day free trial on the signup page
Of course, you can also cycle through credit cards and email addresses when signing up to try and maximize your free trials. However, this is complex and is often more of a hassle than anything else.
NBA Playoffs Schedule 2022
If you want to know the entire 2022 NBA playoffs schedule, you’ll need to check the official site often as each team advances. In fact, click here to view the entire schedule for yourself.
A few of the games that you’ll want to pay attention to in the 2022 NBA playoffs are:
- Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers is on with Game 1 starting on Monday, May 2, 2022. Additional games are to be held on May 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 15 as necessary.
- Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks have already started with the Bucks winning game 1. Game 2 is on May 3, followed by games on the 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15, as necessary.
- Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors already played an epic first game that was decided by a single point. Additional games will be held on May 3, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 16, as necessary.
- Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks will have their first game on May 2 followed by games on May 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 15.
Be sure to check the official site when the 2022 NBA playoffs reach the finals for the full schedule.
NBA Playoffs Bracket and Standing 2022
A total of 20 teams are eligible for postseason play in the play-in tournament. Out of these 20 teams, only 16 will make it to the 2022 NBA playoffs. These are the best teams from the East and West conferences.
In 2021, the league introduced the play-in tournament, where teams compete for the final two playoff spots in each conference.
To find out which teams will face each other in the play-in tournament and playoffs, you can check the NBA playoffs bracket. You can also check the NBA’s official website for the current standing.
The official NBA bracket page will also give you more information about series matchups and more.
Check these official NBA resources regularly to see which teams will be headed into the finals.
FAQs about NBA Playoffs
Where to watch the 2022 NBA playoffs for free?
Looking for a free NBA playoffs live stream? The only way to catch NBA playoff games for free is to watch them on national or local TV stations. If you have cable, you can watch games that are broadcasted on TNT, ABC or ESPN for free. You’ll need to check the playoffs schedule to see which games are being broadcasted on which station.
What teams are in the 2022 NBA Playoffs?
At the start of the playoffs, there are 16 teams competing for their place in the finals. As we move through the playoffs, more teams will be eliminated.
Here’s the current 2022 NBA playoffs standing:
- Miami Heat
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Boston Celtics
Since the start of the NBA playoffs schedule, the following teams were eliminated:
- Denver Nuggets
- Utah Jazz
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Atlanta Hawks
- Toronto Raptors
- Chicago Bulls
- Brooklyn Nets
The Conference Finals will determine which teams from the Eastern and Western conferences will face off in the finals. Remember to check the NBA’s official brackets page to see the most up to date information on standings.
How many games are in the NBA Season 2022?
Fans of the league want to do more than just watch NBA playoffs. They want to catch regular season games, too. So, how many games are played in the 2022 season?
In total, the NBA has 82 games during the 2022 season.
- The regular season runs from October 19 – April 10
- The play-in tournament runs from April 12-15
- The playoffs run from April 16 – May 30
- The finals run from June 2 – 19
Is NBA TV free?
No, NBA TV is not free, but your subscription will let you stream NBA playoffs games and watch other content from the league. NBA TV streams 24 hours a day, and you can also watch:
- Press conferences
- Live events
NBA TV is available as a monthly or yearly subscription. You can watch content on Apple TV, Roku and other mobile devices, too.
Is NBA League Pass free?
Hoping to watch NBA playoffs live stream for free through League Pass? You’re out of luck. Unfortunately, League Pass isn’t free. You can take advantage of a free trial if you’re a new customer, but once your trial is up, you will be charged.
You have a few options when choosing your League Pass subscription, but the price is typically the lowest just ahead of the playoffs. If you only want to watch NBA playoffs, you can get access to games at a low monthly rate.
Is NBA League Pass worth it?
If you want to stream NBA playoffs, you may be wondering whether NBA League Pass is worth the cost. Here’s what League Pass will get you:
- Live regular season games that aren’t airing locally or nationally
- The ability to stream NBA TV live anytime you want
Notice how it says that you can stream games that aren’t airing nationally or locally? This means that you’ll be dealing with blackouts and probably won’t be able to watch every game with NBA League Pass. Still, League Pass is one of the best ways to watch NBA games and content. If you love the NBA, League Pass is worth it. If you’re a casual watcher, it may not be worth the cost.