Has reached its end and now the fun begins. In the past years, the top eight teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences made the playoffs, but new for the 2021 season is a special play-in tournament that addresses the last two playoff spots in each region Applies.
The play-in tournament will begin on May 22 with the actual playoff on May 18. Play-in games will air on TNT and ESPN, while playoffs will air on those channels as well as ABC.
Here’s everything you need to know to catch all the fun of basketball after this season.
Who are the play-in teams and what are their seeds?
The play-in teams in the Eastern Conference are in order of seeding:
7. Boston Celtics
8. Washington Wizards
9. Indiana Pacers
10. Charlotte Hornets
The teams in the Western Conference are:
7. Los Angeles Lakers
8. Golden State Warriors
9. Memphis Grizzlies
10. San Antonio Spurs
What is the schedule for the play-in tournament?
The first match will take place on Tuesday, May 18 and Wednesday, May 19 respectively on TNT and ESPN. The final games of the play-ins are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
Here is the complete schedule:
Tuesday, May 18 (Eastern Conference)
Number 10 Hornet at No. 9 Pesar (6:30 pm ET / 3:30 pm PT, TNT)
No. 8 Wizards at No. 7 Celtics (9 pm ET / 6 pm PT, TNT)
Wednesday, May 19 (Western Conference)
Number 10 Spurs at No. 9 Grizzlies (7:30 PM ET / 4:30 PM PT, ESPN)
No. 8 Warriors at No. 7 Lakers (10 pm ET / 7 pm PT, ESPN)
Thursday, May 20 (Eastern Conference)
9/10 winner vs. 7/8 loser (8 pm ET / 5 pm ET, TNT)
Friday, May 21 (Western Conference)
9/10 winner vs. 7/8 loser (TBD, ESPN)
How does an NBA Play-in tournament work?
The structure of the games is as follows:
The teams with the seventh and eighth best records in each conference will face off in one game while the teams finishing ninth and tenth will play in the second. The winner of seven versus eight becomes the seventh seed of that conference and joins the official playoff bracket. The loser of that game plays the winner of nine-versus-ten to see who gets eighth seed.
This is a bit complicated, but fortunately the NBA has created this handy chart for those looking for visualizations.
How can I watch NBA playoffs live on cable TV?
Four out of five headsOffer ESPN, TNT and ABC (all except Sling TV), but not every service has your local ABC station, so check the link below to make sure it is available in your area. If you have FuboTV then you need something else to catch the game on TNT.
Getting NBA TV, which will also have some coverage, may require additional fees.
Our selection? For the most complete solution, watch YouTube TV.
Google’s live TV streaming service provides all the channels required for NBA playoffs at $ 65 per month.
Read our YouTube TV review.
Sling TV’s Orange package offers ESPN and TNT for $ 35 per month. However, it does not have ABC and NBA TV requires an additional $ 15 per month sports extra add-on.
Hulu Plus Live TV costs $ 65 per month and includes three channels required for NBA playoffs, with NBA TV being the exception.
Read our Hulu Plus Live TV review.
AT & T TV’s basic entertainment package costs $ 70 and includes ABC, ESPN and TNT. However, to get NBA TV, you have to upgrade to the $ 85 per month Choice option.
Read our AT&T TV review.
When do playoffs begin?
The actual NBA playoffs will begin on Saturday, May 22. The final game for the NBA Finals, if necessary, will take place on 22 July.
Will fans be allowed in sports?
While the 2020 playoffs took place in the Walt Disney World bubble in Orlando, the NBA has played its 2020-21 season in regular arenas, with fans increasingly coming back to the stadium as local COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed. Fans are allowed in playoff games this year, although the exact number will vary in each venue.