It's been a season like no other, but the final goal is still the same for Giannis and the Milwaukee Bucks: hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy and claiming the city's first major sports championship in decades.
The Greek Freak and the rest of the Eastern Conference-best Bucks will continue their quest through the NBA playoffs with a tough second-round tussle against the fifth-seeded Miami Heat, beginning Monday evening in the Orlando bubble. And after a regular season of glorified scrimmages, a wholly unexpected set of warm-up games after the pandemic-induced intermission and the unpredictable first round, you're not going to want to miss a single dribble now that the championship is even closer.
Unfortunately, no one will be able to watch the Bucks hopefully conquer the league live and in person due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, and those thrilling, exhilaratingly jubilant viewing parties from last year have all been smartly cancelled or at the very least immensely limited in size and scope. You can still keep up with Giannis and company on your small screens at home, though – the pandemic presentation of basketball has been much better than, say, baseball and their creepy fake crowds.
But where exactly can you find the games – and where can you find them if you've cut the cord? Here's a viewing guide for watching the Bucks battle the Heat.
Regular TV listings
For those who've still kept the cord, finding the Bucks playoff games is easier than Giannis running a 3-on-1 breakaway. Here's the guide to where the Bucks-Heat series will be showing on television:
- Game 5: Tuesday, Sept. 8 – 5:30 p.m. on TNT
- Game 6 (if necessary): Thursday, Sept. 10 – TBD on ESPN
- Game 7 (if necessary): Saturday, Sept. 12 – TBD on TNT
So you've cut the cord. You might be able to find a nicely distanced patio showing the game at a local watering hole, but your best bet for taking in what will hopefully be a beatdown courtesy the Bucks will be streaming the game from the comfort of your lucky couch in the living room. Here are your best bets for following the Bucks in the first round.
Live television streaming services
So you've cut the cord – but you likely haven't cut yourself off from the world of sports and pop culture, which means you probably have a live television streaming service like Sling TV (the orange plan), YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, FuboTV or AT&T TV Now. (The other major streaming services – Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Peacock and Apple TV+ – as popular as they are, have yet to dip into live sports programming.)
All of these live television streaming services offer ESPN, which means you're covered for a potential Game 6. As for Game 5, almost all of these live television streaming services include TNT – save for FuboTV.
All of these streaming services cost around $50-60 a month, while Sling's orange plan is a slightly cheaper at $30 per month. An important reminder, though: These streaming services typically offer some kind of free trial period, so if you time it right – and make sure you remember to cancel before the cutoff date – you could probably score a few playoff games without having to dig into your wallet once.
- Sling TV (orange plan): ESPN and TNT for $30 a month
- Hulu with Live TV: ESPN and TNT for $55 a month
- YouTube TV: ESPN and TNT for $65 a month
- FuboTV: ESPN for $60 a month
- AT&T TV Now: ESPN and TNT for $55 a month
TV channel apps/websites
So you've cut the cord ... but you have friends or family who haven't. We're not saying you SHOULD ask for their cable account info so you can log in and watch the games on these channels' streaming apps ... but if you were to do that, download the Watch TNT or ESPN apps onto your streaming box (Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV or Amazon Fire stick), sign in using a borrowed cable username and password, and watch away. You can also watch on your computer screen by popping over to WatchTNT.com or ESPN's website, then sign in using a valid cable username and password. Congrats, you now have access to the games – no cable necessary. Well, SOMEBODY'S cable is necessary.
This obviously works if you have cable as well. Just download the apps or go to the websites, and plug in your info. But ... you also have cable. So, you can also just watch the games on television as usual.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.