How to Watch and Live Stream the 2022 NBA Playoffs

With the 2021-22 season at the finish line, our focus is turning towards the NBA Playoffs. It’s been an odd season around the league with the preseason-favorites Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets struggling just to make the playoffs. Meanwhile, up-and-comers such as the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers continue to make some noise.

ESTNN as usual has you covered for how you can watch and live stream the entire NBA playoffs this summer. Starting with the NBA Play-In Tournament and continuing all the way through the Finals, we’ll have the best picks, predictions, and key information.

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What is the NBA Play-In?

The 2021-22 NBA regular season will end on Sunday, April 10. The 2022 NBA Play-In Tournament will begin on Tuesday, April 12 and continue through Friday, April 15. The first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs will start one day later on Saturday, April 16.

The NBA Play-In Tournament will be held after the conclusion of the 2021-22 regular season and before the start of the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs. The teams that finish between first and sixth in the standings of each conference are guaranteed their shot to play at least one playoff series. Teams between Nos. 7-10 enter the Play-In Tournament to fight for their playoff lives.

Each conference’s Nos. 7 and 8 teams will face off, with the winner earning the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. The loser will still have one more opportunity to reach the playoffs.

Both conference’s Nos. 9 and 10 teams will face off, with the winner advancing to play the loser of the No. 7-vs.-No. 8 game. The loser of the No. 9-vs.-No. 10 game will be eliminated from playoff contention.

The loser of the No. 7-vs.-No. 8 game and the winner of the No. 9-vs.-No. 10 game will then play against each other. The winner of that game will be the No. 8 seed in the playoffs. The loser will be eliminated from playoff contention.

Beyond the Play-In Tournament, the 2022 NBA Playoffs will follow the typical format, with full best-of-seven series all the way through the NBA Finals.

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Eastern Conference NBA playoffs 2022 Preview

The Milwaukee Bucks will be looking to repeat as NBA Champs after capturing the title last year, while the Phoenix Suns are out to prove that their run to the postseason was no fluke, after blowing a 2-0 lead to the Bucks in the finals. Everything beyond those teams is murky at best.

Will Ben Simmons make his debut with the Nets considering his back injury? Kevin Durant just returned from his own injury and the Nets need wins. Their best pathway to success is having Simmons on the court as a center who can defend literally any player they face and hold his own.

These are huge questions for a Nets team that hadn’t looked anything like a contender this season prior to a solid recent run. The good news? Irving is now playing home games down the stretch and in the playoffs after New York City ended its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

On the other end of the spectrum, NBA MVP candidate Joel Embiid and his new running partner, James Harden, had Philadelphia streaking before Harden slowed in effectiveness. It’s fair to wonder whether Daryl Morey’s love with Harden will burn him, after trading his best chips for the aging star.

While these two teams represent the biggest stories going back east, the Miami Heat are simply remaining out of the news and as consistent as they come on the court. Led by Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, and Bam Adebayo, Miami is set to grind their way through the conference.

The lurking threat in the Eastern Conference is certainly the Boston Celtics. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are finally meshing out on the wing. Tatum is averaging 30.1 points over his past 23 games and dropped a 54-point barrage recently.

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Western Conference NBA playoffs 2022 Preview

The top storyline in the Western Conference has been the continued success of the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are a strange team due to their brilliance on offense and defense despite not conforming to the rest of the league’s strategies.  This team is the odds-on favorite to win the title and is going to be an incredibly tough out.

As for the Golden State Warriors, their potential remains high if Steph Curry returns to the court before too long. Their mixture of shooting, defense, and teamwork makes them a huge threat. But they could also lose in the first-round if things don’t go their way.

Golden State has lost six of 10 and is under .500 since starting the season with a 27-6 record. In fact, the Warriors are 7-15 in their past 22 games. The only hope here is that Curry returns 100% healthy and youngsters such as Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga continue to play well.

The Memphis Grizzlies will present a problem for Phoenix and/or Golden State come playoff time. Ja Morant is the newest face of the NBA, and the Grizzlies have rolled even without Morant on the floor. Jaren Jackson Jr. is playing well after two injury-plagued seasons. Meanwhile, Desmond Bane looks like a star in the making.

The rest of the Western Conference is interesting in that an argument can be made for each team in our NBA Playoff predictions to make a deep postseason run. The Utah Jazz look destined for a break-up after another rough patch. And the Los Angeles Clippers are a dangerous team if Kawhi Leonard were to be cleared to play.

We’re also intrigued with the young Timberwolves. When Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell suit up this season, Minnesota boasts a top-10 record in the NBA with Towns posting a 60-point game earlier in March.

 

How to Live Stream and Watch the NBA Playoffs Online

If you’re like most of the world and don’t have cable anymore, you can watch the NBA Playoffs online through one of these online streaming and live TV services. All of them are offering free trials right now, so you can avoid paying the full cost of their service for at least part of the playoffs.

1. Check out Sling TV’s Orange Plan

The $35 Sling Orange plan gets you access to ESPN, ESPN3 and TNT for basketball coverage, plus your favorite channels beyond sports. If you’re interested in NBA TV and the first-round series featured there, the Sports Extra package is a good add-on.

Sling offers a 3-day free trial and an additional month of Sling for just $10, saving you more than $25 off the regular price.  Sling Orange plus the Sports Extra add-on would be just $21.

2. Vidgo

Vidgo may not be one of the big names in the live streaming market, but they’re one of the best. Their $40 “core” subscription plan includes 60+ channels, including ABC to let you watch NBA games online. Sports fans love Vidgo, as the package also gets you all the ESPN channels, the NFL Network, FS1 and more. Watch on up to three devices at a time.

3. fuboTV 

The best place to stream basketball online is through fuboTV. Fubo is the only streaming service to offer ESPN and NBA TV as part of its standard package. Fubo also recently announced plans to add ABC to its channel lineup (though access may vary by region). In addition to its NBA coverage, fuboTV gets you almost 100 channels of live TV, and its $64.99 family plan includes FS1, NFL Network, Golf Channel, Pac 12 Network, CBS Sports and more.

Fubo is offering a 7-day free trial right now.

4. Hulu + Live TV

If you want sports and entertainment, your best bet is to sign up with Hulu plus Live TV. For $64.99/month, you can stream basketball live online through ESPN, TNT and ABC.

As you can see, this is a competitive option compared to others. If you only want NBA playoff streaming, it might be a little expensive. But the convenience of having everything in one place cannot be undervalued.

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