A basketball swooshes through a basketball hoop in an NBA arena during the playoffs

The 2023 NBA playoffs promise to be a thrilling showcase of athleticism and razzle-dazzle as the league’s top teams battle for the NBA championship. April 11 is the first day of postseason action and is guaranteed to feature plenty of clutch plays, slam dunks, and epic buzzer-beaters to keep you on the edge of your seat.

StreamSafely has everything you need to know about the 2023 NBA Playoffs, including the dates, playoff format, hottest teams and players, and how to watch all the games.

2023 NBA Playoff Results

The 2023 NBA Finals came to a close in stunning fashion. Denver’s Nikola Jokic orchestrated an outstanding finals display for the Nuggets, propelling his team to secure their inaugural NBA championship title. The Denver Nuggets triumphed over the Miami Heat with a score of 94-89 in Game 5, clinching the series by a commanding 4-1 margin. Jokic, recognized as the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP, delivered an impressive double-double performance with 28 points and 16 rebounds. Despite the Miami Heat’s remarkable journey towards the championship, which seemed improbable, they fell short of victory on the away court. Jimmy Butler managed to contribute 21 points, although his field goal success rate was a mere 5-for-18.

Important Dates for the 2023 NBA Playoffs

Mark your calendar now to catch all the live action from the first tip-off to the final victory celebration.

  • April 11-14: Play-In Tournament
  • April 15: NBA Playoffs begin
  • May 1-2: Conference Semifinals begin (may move up to April 29-30)
  • May 16-17: Conference Finals begin (may move up to May 14-15)
  • June 1-18: NBA Finals
    • June 1: Game 1
    • June 4: Game 2
    • June 7: Game 3
    • June 9: Game 4
    • June 12: Game 5 (if necessary)
    • June 15: Game 6 (if necessary)
    • June 18: Game 7 (if necessary)

How are the Playoff Teams Determined?

The top 16 of the NBA’s 30 teams make it to the playoffs — eight teams from the Eastern Conference and eight from the Western Conference. The top six teams in each conference (based on regular season win totals) automatically advance to the playoffs. The remaining two playoff spots in each conference are determined via the Play-In Tournament. The 7th–10th ranked teams from both the East and West get a chance to keep their season alive during this portion of the competition.

What is the Play-In Tournament?

The Play-In Tournament gives the 7th–10th ranked teams a chance to compete for the final two playoff spots in their respective conferences.

The 7th and 8th seeds play each other, with the winner advancing as the No. 7 seed in the final playoffs matchups. The loser of that initial game plays the winner of the game between the 9th and 10th seeds, with the winner of that matchup advancing as the No. 8 seed.

What is the Format of the NBA Playoffs?

The playoffs are comprised of four rounds, with the first three running concurrently for the Eastern and Western Conferences:

  • First round, all 16 teams play.
  • Second round, or conference semifinals.
  • Third round, or conference finals.
  • The fourth round, or finals.

The teams’ rankings at the end of the regular season establish the first-round bracket. The NBA playoffs follow a best-of-seven series elimination format.

Which Teams Have Secured a Playoff Spot?

The Denver Nuggets have locked in the top seed in the Western Conference. In the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics are currently one and two, but the remaining games will determine who settles in the top spot.

You can track the NBA standings on the official NBA website.

Teams to Watch

Golden State Warriors: Led by 2022 NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry, the Warriors are the defending league champions. In last year’s contest Golden State bested the Boston Celtics in six games to claim its fourth championship title in the last eight seasons.

Boston Celtics: 2023 All-Star MVP Jayson Tatum leads the Celtics’ charge for another shot at the title after falling to the Warriors in the Finals last season.

Denver Nuggets: Led by 6’11” center Nikola Jokić, the Nuggets are on track to clinch the Western Conference. Denver has never won an NBA Championship. Is this the year they finally take home the trophy?

Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, averaging a league-high 31.8 points per game, hopes to take the Bucks back to the finals. Milwaukee won the title in 2021, but can they do it again?

Philadelphia 76ers: With current NBA MVP favorite Joel Embiid leading the charge, the 76ers are another team out of the Eastern Conference with a great opportunity to win the trophy.

Other potential contenders include the Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Dallas Mavericks.

NBA Champions for the Last Five Years

The most recent NBA championship teams are:

  • 2022: Golden State Warriors
  • 2021: Milwaukee Bucks
  • 2020: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 2019: Toronto Raptors
  • 2018: Golden State Warriors

How to Watch NBA Playoffs 2023

There are a lot of options for where to watch and stream NBA Playoff games, including live TV, ESPN, and more.

Playoff RoundViewing OptionsStart Date
Play-In TournamentESPN, TNTApril 11, 2023
Round 1ABC, ESPN, TNT, NBA TVApril 15, 2023
Round 2: Conference SemifinalsABC, ESPN, TNTMay 1, 2023
Round 3: Conference FinalsABC, ESPN, TNTMay 16, 2023
Round 4: NBA FinalsABCJune 1, 2023

If you’ve opted to fully embrace streaming services over a cable subscription, there are many popular TV streaming services where you can enjoy the action. YouTube TV, fubo, Sling TV, Hulu, and DirectTV Stream offer packages that include the TV channels airing the playoffs. NBA TV is available as an add-on, such as with the Sports Extra package with Sling Orange, or as part of NBA League Pass.

As noted above, many popular networks will be airing the playoff games. However, ABC is the exclusive broadcaster of the NBA Finals — they will not be televised on ESPN, TNT, FOX, NBC, or CBS.

You can also use your favorite streaming devices, including FireTV, Apple TV, and Roku, to live stream the NBA playoff games.

Stream the NBA Playoffs Safely

StreamSafely provides the tools you need to watch all the 2023 NBA Playoffs action without the worry of viruses or malware. Whether you prefer to watch the NBA, NFL, MLB, or your other favorite sports leagues, you can trust our team to provide the information needed to ensure safe streaming.

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