The NBA Playoffs is the biggest National Basketball Association tournament of the year. It is a culmination of a seasons worth of competing. The playoffs are a elimination style tournament where the teams play in a best of seven games. Eight teams from each of the NBA’s conferences join in the playoffs. Over the years, many teams have gone on to win in the NBA Finals. The most successful franchise so far has been the Boston Celtics. They hold over 15 titles. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers have made the most playoff appearances.
Some of the most successful players like Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James have won multiple NBA Championships. Fans look forward to watching the NBA Playoffs every year. They can view the tournament through TNT, ESPN, ABC, and NBA TV. Many viewers have a hard time finding the game they want to watch. This is because of the blackout restrictions put on in-market games. Fans from who are trying to watch the games internationally normally have a hard time getting around the geo-restrictions. Please join us as we teach you how to watch NBA Playoffs games with a VPN.
How to Use a VPN to Get Around NBA Playoffs Blackout Restrictions
Here’s a quick guide for watching NBA Playoffs games with a VPN.
- Sign up for ExpressVPN (30 day risk-free money-back guarantee)
- Install the ExpressVPN browser extension, desktop, or mobile app.
- Launch the ExpressVPN app and select a server in your chosen region. We recommend Canada or Mexico for viewing NBA games to bypass blackout restrictions.
- Cheer on your favorite team through ESPN or any of the popular streaming services that broadcast the games.
Before we get more in depth as to how to watch NBA Playoffs games with a VPN let us tell you more about the benefits of using a VPN for watching sports. Sports often have blackout restrictions for multiple reasons. One is an attempt to encourage more people to go to the game. Another is that the broadcast is only available in certain countries or regions. A VPN can help you out in these situations because it allows you to change your IP address. It does this by allowing you to choose a server location and assigning you an IP address from the region. If you choose a server in an area that the game is watchable, then you will be able to stream it. A VPN also hides your IP address and helps protect your privacy.
NBA teams have 82 games a year. They are available through NBA League Pass, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, YouTube TV, and fuboTV. The biggest difference between the regular season and postseason is the providers. NBA Playoffs are televised nationally and NBA League Pass will not give you access to watching the games live. Meanwhile, the game you want to see might not be on due to blackout restrictions. Connecting to a VPN will help you avoid the blackout restrictions to cheer on your favorite team all season long.
NBA Playoffs History and Team Info
The NBA Playoffs started in 1946. The first two teams to advance to a NBA Finals was the Chicago Stags and Philadelphia Warriors. The Warriors ended up winning the first NBA Championship. At the time, it as known as the BAA finals. The named changed to the NBA Playoffs in 1951. 1957 was the the start of the longest streak in the playoffs. The Celtics made their way to the finals eight straight seasons in a row and qualified for 11 in a 12 year time span. They also became the first team to sweep another in the NBA Finals. The Lakers as of 2021 had appeared in more finals than any other team in the league. The NBA Playoffs has changed formats a few times to adjust for new teams and the shuffling of divisions.
The current format used for the NBA playoffs starts with teams being seeded based on their season records. Eight teams will taken from the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. This means that 16 teams will be playing during the first round. Before the finals, teams will only compete against others in their own conference. Every round has teams compete against one another in a best of seven series. The two teams that win their conference finals meet in the NBA Finals. Another bonus given to teams for having the best season records includes home court advantage for their first two games. The NBA Playoffs are an exciting tournament to determine who wins the NBA Championship.
2023 NBA Playoffs Format and Teams
The 2023 NBA Playoffs started directly following the Play-In Tournament. This determined the final four participants in the post-season tournament. Of the top 10 teams, six of them qualified for the playoffs directly. Then the other four fought for the remaining positions. The 2023 playoffs actually feature the top 8 seeded teams from both conferences. The sixteen teams will compete in best of 7 games. The higher seeded team plays more of those matches at home. Here are the teams that qualified for the 2023 NBA Playoffs:
- Atlanta Hawks
- Boston Celtics
- Brooklyn Nets
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Miami Heat
- Milwaukee Bucks
- New York Knicks
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Denver Nuggets
- Golden State Warriors
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Phoenix Suns
- Sacramento Kings
How to Watch NBA Playoffs Games with ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is our favorite VPN for streaming sports. This is because they help you gain access to content that you would otherwise be blocked from watching. ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries, but some of the best are in the United States. This is great as the US has popular sports like football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. They are available through ESPN, NBC, Fox Sports, NFL Game Pass, MLB.TV, and more. The NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NCAA implement blackout restrictions that block in-market games. Some even block viewers internationally. One of the best ways to get around this is through a VPN. Blackout restrictions like those from MLB.TV can easily be avoided by connecting to Mexico, Canada, or a different location in the US. ExpressVPN will help you stream all your favorite American sports leagues.
ExpressVPN will keep you safe as you watch your favorite sports teams. They will mask your IP address and get around blackout restrictions. The company does not log your activities. We are happy to share with our users an exclusive ExpressVPN discount. This includes access to both the VPN service and MediaStreamer. When you subscribe for a year, you will get 49% off and receive 3 months free. ExpressVPN has a 30 day money back guarantee, so you will be able to test the service and see how it can help unblock sports.