The 2020 NBA playoffs are more reminiscent of the college format than ever, complete with surprising upsets and a neutral home floor in Orlando’s bubble, and now it’s down to the final four teams. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics escaped elimination on Friday to force a Game 6 against the Miami Heat, led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. In tonight’s game the Los Angeles Lakers will look to finish off the Denver Nuggets and become the first of the four to reach the NBA Finals. For Lakers Star LeBron James, a win tonight would deliver a remarkable 10th finals appearance in his 16-year NBA career.
Here’s the schedule for the weekend.
Saturday, Sept. 26
- Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets (Game 5, LAL leads 3-1), 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) on TNT
Sunday, Sept. 27
- Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat (Game 6, MIA leads 3-2), 7:30 p.m. ET (4:30 p.m. PT) on ESPN
Looking to watch the NBA playoffs without cable? We have you covered below.
When did the 2020 NBA playoffs start?
The NBA playoffs, which follow a traditional seven-game format, began on Aug. 17. All remaining games will be broadcast nationally on either TNT, ESPN or ABC.
Game 7 of the NBA Finals will take place, if necessary, no later than Oct. 13.
How can I watch the NBA playoffs on TV without cable?
As in a regular non-COVID season, Disney-owned ABC and ESPN will broadcast games, with ABC broadcasting the NBA Finals. ESPN is the exclusive TV network for the 2020 Eastern Conference finals.
AT&T-owned Turner Sports, which runs TNT and “jointly” manages the league’s NBA Digital division that includes NBA TV. TNT is the exclusive TV network for the 2020 Western Conference finals.
You can see the NBA’s national television schedule here, with games on ABC, ESPN and TNT.
You don’t need cable or satellite TV to watch the games on ESPN or TNT. Most of the channels are offered on four of the major live TV streaming services, though not all offer ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV.
Sling TV’s $30-a-month Orange package includes ESPN and TNT but not ABC. If you want NBA TV you will also need to subscribe to the Sports Extra add-on for an additional $10 per month.
FuboTV recently added ESPN and ABC, where available, to give it three of the four major channels — ABC, ESPN and NBA TV — if you get the $65-per-month Family package plus the $6-per-month Fubo Extra add-on (for NBA TV).
TNT is no longer available on FuboTV.
AT&T TV Now includes ABC, ESPN and TNT with its $55 per month Plus package, with some regional sports networks, like those in New York and Los Angeles, available in the $80 per month Max offering. NBA TV, however, is not included until you go to the $124-per-month Xtra package.
Which teams are in?
Sixteen teams qualified for the playoffs and four remain in the fight for the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.
- Boston Celtics
- Miami Heat
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Denver Nuggets
The eliminated teams are all done for the year and are prepping for the offseason and NBA Draft, which will be held on Oct. 16. Better luck next year, Knicks fans.