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Watch The NBA Playoffs Online For Free

by Joe Kukura on June 2, 2012

NBA Playoffs online

UPDATED JUNE 6, 2013: WATCH NBA PLAYOFFS ONLINE – NBA FINALS

The 2013 NBA Finals are finally here! It’s Big Three against the Big Fundamental, as the Miami Heat face the San Antonio Spurs for the 2013 NBA Championship. All games of the NBA Finals will be streamed in HD on WatchESPN (which requires a cable subscription to watch ESPN online). Take a look at the announced NBA Finals schedule and where to watch the NBA Finals online starting tonight.

WATCH HEAT-SPURS ONLINE (WatchESPN)

Game 1 – Thursday, June 6 at 9 p.m. ET
Game 2 –Sunday, June 9 at 8 p.m. ET
Game 3 – Tuesday, June 11 at 9 p.m. ET
Game 4 – Thursday, June 13 at 9 p.m. ET
Game 5 – Sunday, June 16 at 8 p.m. ET*
Game 6 – Tuesday, June 18 at 9 p.m. ET*
Game 7 – Thursday, June 20 at 9 p.m. ET*

*If necessary

UPDATED MAY 22, 2013: WATCH NBA PLAYOFFS ONLINE – CONFERENCE FINALS

The 2013 NBA Playoffs are down to the final four teams, and we’ve finally got some consistency on where to watch NBA Playoffs. These series will not keep switching networks nightly as they had done thus far in the playoffs — both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals will be streamed and are available online each night. The Indiana Pacers-Miami Heat Eastern Conference Finals will be streamed for free on TNT Overtime. Meanwhile, the Memphis Grizzlies-San Antonio Spurs Western Conference Finals will be streamed on WatchESPN (which requires a cable subscription to watch ESPN online). Let’s look at the announced NBA Conference Finals schedule and where to watch NBA Playoff games online.

WATCH HEAT-PACERS ONLINE (TNT Overtime)

Game 1 – Wednesday, May 22 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Game 2 – Friday, May 24 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Game 3 – Sunday, May 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Game 4 – Tuesday, May 28 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Game 5 – Thursday, May 30 at  8:30 p.m. ET*
Game 6 – Saturday, June 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET *
Game 7 – Monday, June 3 at 8:30 p.m. ET *

WATCH SPURS-GRIZZLIES ONLINE (WatchESPN)

Game 1 – Sunday, May 19 at 3:30 p.m. ET (Not Online)
Game 2 – Tuesday, May 21 at 9 p.m. ET
Game 3 – Saturday, May 25 at 9 p.m. ET
Game 4 – Monday, May 27 at 9 p.m. ET
Game 5 – Wednesday, May 29 at 9 p.m. ET*
Game 6 – Friday, May 31 at 9 p.m. ET*
Game 7 – Saturday, June 2 at 9 p.m. ET*

*If necessary

UPDATED MAY 8, 2013: WATCH NBA PLAYOFFS ONLINE – CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

The 2013 NBA Playoffs are charging forward, and we’re tipping you off on where to watch the NBA Playoffs online without taking a charge. While those games streamed on WatchESPN require a cable subscription to watch ESPN online, those games on TNT Overtime are free online for everyone to watch. The networks are passing their coverage back and forth, so let’s look at the announced NBA Playoffs schedule and where to watch NBA Playoff games online.

WATCH HEAT-BULLS ONLINE

Game 1 – Monday, May 6 at 7 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)
Game 2 – Wednesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)
Game 3 – Friday, May 10 at 8 p.m. ET (WatchESPN)
Game 4 – Monday, May 13 at 7 p.m. ET  (TNT Overtime)
Game 5 – Wednesday, May 15 at Time TBD  (TNT Overtime)
Game 6 – Friday, May 17 at Time TBD (WatchESPN)
Game 7 – Sunday, May 19 at Time TBD (TNT Overtime)

Download RealPlayer and check out the Sports Channel to see video of all the game-changing events of the NBA Playoffs and have them delivered right to your computer.

WATCH THUNDER-GRIZZLIES ONLINE

Game 1 – Sunday, May 5 at 1 p.m. ET (Not Online)
Game 2 – Tuesday, May 7 at 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)
Game 3 – Saturday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET (WatchESPN)
Game 4 – Monday, May 13 at 9:30 p.m. ET  (TNT Overtime)
Game 5 – Wednesday, May 15 at 9:30 p.m. ET  (TNT Overtime)
Game 6 – Friday, May 17 at Time TBD (WatchESPN)
Game 7 – Sunday, May 19 at Time TBD (Not Online)

WATCH PACERS-KNICKS ONLINE

Game 1 – Sunday, May 5 at 3:30 p.m. ET (Not Online)
Game 2 – Tuesday, May 7 at 7 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)
Game 3 – Saturday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET (Not Online)
Game 4 – Tuesday, May 14, at Time TBD (TNT Overtime)
Game 5 – Thursday, May 16 at 8 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)
Game 6 – Saturday, May 18 at Time TBD (WatchESPN)
Game 7 – Monday, May 20 at Time TBD (TNT Overtime)

WATCH SPURS-WARRIORS ONLINE

Game 1 – Monday, May 6 at 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)
Game 2 – Wednesday, May 8 at 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)
Game 3 – Friday, May 10 at 10:30 p.m. ET (WatchESPN)
Game 4 – Sunday, May 12 at 3:30 p.m. ET (Not Online)
Game 5 – Tuesday, May 14 at 9:30 p.m. ET  (TNT Overtime)
Game 6 – Thursday, May 16 at Time TBD (WatchESPN)
Game 7 – Sunday, May 19 at Time TBD (Not Online)

UPDATED APRIL 19, 2013: WATCH NBA PLAYOFFS ONLINE – FIRST ROUND

The 2013 NBA Playoffs are tipping off, and we’re tipping you off on where to watch the NBA Playoffs online. Those games streamed on WatchESPN require a cable subscription to watch ESPN online, while those games on TNT Overtime are free online for everyone to watch. The networks are passing their coverage back and forth, so let’s look at the announced NBA Playoffs first round schedule and where to watch NBA Playoff games online.

WATCH NUGGETS-WARRIORS ONLINE

Game 1 – Saturday, April 20 at 5:30 p.m. ET (WatchESPN)
Game 2 – Tuesday, April 23 at 10:30 p.m. (TNT Overtime)
Game 3 – Friday, April 26 at 10:30 p.m. ET (WatchESPN)
Game 4 – Sunday, April 28 at 9:30 p.m. ET  (TNT Overtime)

WATCH KNICKS-CELTICS ONLINE

Game 1 – Saturday, April 20 at 3:30 p.m. ET (Not Online)
Game 2 – Tuesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)
Game 3 – Friday, April 26 at 8 p.m. ET (WatchESPN)
Game 4 – Sunday, April 28 at 1 p.m. ET (Not Online)

WATCH NETS-BULLS ONLINE

Game 1 – Saturday, April 20 at 8 p.m. ET (WatchESPN)
Game 2 – Monday, April 22, at 8 p.m. (TNT Overtime)
Game 3 – Thursday, April 25 at 8:30 p.m. (Not Online)
Game 4 – Saturday, April 27 at 2 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)

WATCH CLIPPERS-GRIZZLIES ONLINE

Game 1 – Saturday, April 20 at 10:30 p.m. ET (WatchESPN)
Game 2 – Monday, April 22, at 10:30 p.m. (TNT Overtime)
Game 3 – Thursday, April 25 at 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)
Game 4 – Saturday, April 27 at 4:30 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)

WATCH PACERS-HAWKS ONLINE

Game 1 – Sunday, April 21 at 1 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)
Game 2 – Wednesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET (Not Online)
Game 3 – Saturday, April 27 at 7 p.m. ET (WatchESPN)
Game 4 – Monday, April 29 (Time TBD)

WATCH SPURS-LAKERS ONLINE

Game 1 – Sunday, April 21 at 3:30 p.m. ET (Not Online)
Game 2 – Wednesday, April 24 at 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)
Game 3 – Friday, April 26, at 10:30 p.m. ET (WatchESPN)
Game 4 – Sunday, April 28 at 7 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)

WATCH HEAT-BUCKS ONLINE

Game 1 – Sunday, April 21 at 7 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)
Game 2 – Tuesday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET (Not Online)
Game 3 – Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)
Game 4 – Sunday, April 28 at 3:30 p.m. ET (Not Online)

WATCH THUNDER-ROCKETS ONLINE

Game 1 – Sunday, April 21 at 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)
Game 2 – Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. ET (TNT Overtime)
Game 3 – Saturday, April 27 at  9:30 p.m. ET (WatchESPN)
Game 4 – Monday, April 29 (Time TBD)

This season marks the first NBA Playoffs in which you can watch NBA games live online for free, all the way through the NBA Finals. Free and legal streams are available for all remaining 2012 NBA playoff games, provided by the networks broadcasting the games. Each remaining game of the 2012 playoffs will be streamed on the Internet free of charge. Better yet, if you have Internet television, you can watch the game on the big screen.

There is, of course, a catch – in fact, there are more catches than on a “SportsCenter” highlight reel. No single site streams all of the games. Each game’s streaming site changes from night to night, so you have to know which network is carrying the particular game you want to watch online. We should note that some of the games are only available to subscribers of certain cable providers.

Finding the right place to watch the NBA playoffs online can be more confusing than the Defensive Three Seconds rule, so let’s look at how you can watch NBA playoffs online on a series-by-series basis.

WATCH SPURS-THUNDER NBA GAME LIVE ONLINE

Cable network TNT is streaming each game of the San Antonio Spurs- Oklahoma City Thunder series online for free, with no cable subscription required. It’s called NBA TNT Overtime, and all you need to watch the game is a broadband connection, a computer or mobile device, and the ability to tolerate Craig Sager’s jacket.

NBA TNT Overtime provides online viewers with a different game experience than TV viewers. Games are broadcast on an interactive four-screen interface, with each of the four screens providing a different camera angle. Viewers can pick one of the camera angles and watch it in full-screen, and then drag in other angles for picture-in-picture. Watching all four camera angles simultaneously can be an exhilarating and dizzying experience.

You still get the real-time game audio of the TNT announcing team and can hear the halftime antics and analysis of Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal and Ernie Johnson. That said, you don’t get to see game highlight footage or the onscreen statistical analysis. You do get to see the halftime entertainment act for fans in the arena along with the back view of the halftime studio crew.

NBA TNT Overtime does not provide the “Inside the NBA” pre-game and post-game shows, but you can watch that video online the next day on NBA.com.

VIEW HEAT-CELTICS NBA GAME ONLINE

ESPN is streaming the Miami Heat-Boston Celtics series live online with their WatchESPN.com video player. The games are available for free to cable subscribers once they verify a cable subscription. On top of that, only certain cable companies are on the list of participating providers. The two biggest cable providers in America, Comcast and Time Warner, are both on the list.

The game watching experience on WatchESPN.com is similar to what you’d see on television. The commercials, though, will be for an ESPN broadcast, property, or highlight show. ESPN makes some hilarious and entertaining commercials that are still funny on their ninth viewing. Magic Johnson, Michael Wilbon, and company will still deliver the pre-game analysis and the halftime show.

You do not get the post-game show, nor that evening’s episode of “SportsCenter.” Within minutes of the game ending, you get a standard “Sorry!” screen informing you the broadcast has ended. NBA playoff games are not available on demand afterward on WatchESPN.com.

WATCH NBA FINALS ONLINE

ABC has been one of the leading networks in providing TV shows on the Internet, and their partnership with ESPN allows you to watch the NBA Finals live online for free. Those WatchESPN.com cable provider restrictions still apply. The NBA Finals begin Tuesday, June 12, with a possibility of starting Sunday, June 10 if both Conference Finals series end early.

Access and viewing experiences may differ by region and IP address, particularly for you international NBA fans. If you have different experiences than described above, or if you can watch four camera angles at once without getting motion sickness, let us know in the comments.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 scott June 9, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Trying to watch on my flight. Error 300 keeps coming up. ESPN fails again

2 Joe Kukura June 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Scott– are you flying internationally? I do not believe WatchESPN.com works on IP addresses outside the US. Hope you have a better streaming experience when you land.

3 Kim June 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm

What if you do not have any of the providers for watchespn what else can I use?

4 Anonymous October 10, 2012 at 7:36 am

what the its a game iam tring to opena down loud games

5 Joe Kukura October 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Anonymous- The season starts Tuesday, October 30, just a couple more weeks!

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