For some people, sports are just a way of entertainment, a structured and organized competition that showcases the skills and determination of some of the most talented athletes and teams on the planet. It is just a series of events that happen with some regularity; there is a winner, loser (s,) and brief moments of celebration.
However, for real fans, sports are a religion. It is the passion that drives mankind to greatness, to new heights. Winning is a cause for extended celebrations while losing means hours of pain, sadness, and disappointment.
Basketball, for the second group, is more than just a game. Fans relate to their preferred players and idolize them, applauding their achievements inside the court and seeing them as role models and ambassadors outside of it.
The National Basketball Association – NBA by its initials – is, without question, the best and most prominent professional league in the world in its discipline. This week, specifically on April 14, the Playoffs will start. Eight teams per each Conference will begin a long journey to determine who gets to the NBA Finals and who earns the valuable trophy.
From Saturday until June, sixteen teams will battle for the glory, and American audience will be able to watch every game thanks to broadcasting partnerships with ESPN and TNT. However, what about international audiences that don’t have those channels in their grids?
If a person were to attempt to enter ESPN or TNT streaming site from abroad, a geo-blocking message would most likely appear. That happens because of location and licensing agreements that prevent international audiences from entering American sites. However, with a Virtual Private Network (VPN,) they would be able to open these pages and enjoying the 2018 NBA Playoffs from anywhere.
The 2018 NBA Playoffs: the Road to the Finals
The NBA Playoffs is the sub-tournament that takes place in each Conference, the Eastern and the Western. Each one has eight postseason teams vying for a spot in the Finals. The highest ranked team plays a best-of-seven series with the eight; the second plays against the seventh, the third battles versus the sixth, and the fourth and five complete the bracket on each side.
The winners advance to the Conference Semifinals, and the ones that come out on top in that phase go to the Conference Finals. As of now, the brackets are not yet complete because the regular season finalizes on April 11.
The Golden State Warriors, the defending champs, have already secured a playoff berth and guided by the spectacular Kevin Durant, the flamboyant Draymond Green and the sharpshooter Klay Thompson, will try to make another run at the title after having won it twice in the last three years.
There are eight qualified teams in the East and seven in the West: the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver Nuggets will fight this Wednesday for the eighth and final spot of the playoffs.
- Toronto Raptors — (59–22)
- Boston Celtics — (54–26)
- Philadelphia 76ers — (50–30)
- Cleveland Cavaliers — (50–31)
- Indiana Pacers — (48–33)
- Milwaukee Bucks — (44–37)
- Miami Heat — (43–38)
- Washington Wizards — (42–38)
- Houston Rockets — (64–16)
- Golden State Warriors — (58–23)
- Portland Trail Blazers — (48–33)
- Utah Jazz — (47–33)
- New Orleans Pelicans — (47–34)
- San Antonio Spurs — (47–34)
- Oklahoma City Thunder — (47–34)
The Toronto Raptors closed out the first place in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference with a record of 59 wins and 22 losses. They will hold home court advantage for the playoffs on their side. The Boston Celtics (54–26) also secured the second spot.
In the West, the Houston Rockets (64–16,) clinched the Southwest Division title, as well as home court advantage throughout the whole playoffs because they hold the league’s best record.
The NBA is one of the most renowned professional leagues in the United States of America, so it shouldn’t surprise anybody to know that they have broadcasting partnerships with some of the country’s top channels.
Right now, the NBA has a deal with ESPN and TNT to broadcast the NBA, including the playoffs until the 2024-2025 season. The league also has a dedicated DirecTV channel, NBA TV, as well as other tunes to watch classics and other content.
Teams with the most NBA Finals participations and Championships
|Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers||16||15||31|
|Philadelphia/San Francisco/Golden State Warriors||5||4||9|
|San Antonio Spurs||5||1||6|
|Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers||3||6||9|
|Fort Wayne/Detroit Pistons||3||4||7|
|New York Knicks||2||6||8|
Geo-blocking measures can take away all the fun
If you are within the United States, then you will surely have no problems watching the entire NBA playoffs via cable, satellite TV, or online streaming, via the ESPN and TNT services dedicated to the matter.
If you are in Latin America or Europe, you may have some channels at your disposal to enjoy all the action. For example, DirecTV users in Latin America have a dedicated NBA channel and access to some ESPN signals. However, if your cable or satellite TV company doesn’t have any of those options and you are outside of America, you may encounter a geo-blocking message anytime you try to enter ESPN streaming services.
Licensing agreements and geographical reasons are behind the geo-blocking issue that users go through when they try to access international sites from specific locations. The scenario can be very frustrating, but there are solutions you can implement.
VPN: the almighty tool to hide spoof your location
Virtual Private Networks, or VPN, can be your best friends if what you want is to watch the 2018 NBA playoffs from anywhere. They are online services that offer secure encryption of your generated data, browsing history, and IP address so that any external agents can have access to them.
VPNs can hide your IP address and provide you with a new, temporary one for the duration of your session. The best part is that you can choose the server and the country that you want to establish a connection and after you do successfully do it; all sites, streaming services, and pages will no longer have geo-blocking restriction messages. That is why you can watch the 2018 NBA playoffs from anywhere: you have to get a VPN, connect to an American server, and open the ESPN or TNT streaming site.
The Virtual Private Network establishes a virtual tunnel between the user’s computer and the VPN server, and all the visited sites and browsing history, shared content, and other details will travel through it.
VPNs add privacy and security to the Internet browsing experience; because if hackers, illegal crypto miners, governmental agencies, your ISP or anyone online can see you, they won’t be able to harm your system or connection.
How to watch the 2018 NBA Playoffs
- Open an account on a trustworthy VPN client, such as TorGuard, IPVanish, PIA, and GhostVPN.
- Download and install the VPN application on your device. Make sure it is compatible.
- Launch the app or client.
- Sign in to the VPN account you recently created, using the credentials you entered in step one.
- Establish a connection to an American server: this is a must.
- Open the ESPN streaming service, and you are done! You will get a smooth signal, and you will be able to watch the entire 2018 NBA Playoffs, all the way through the Finals.
Best VPN to watch the 2018 NBA Playoffs
- TorGuard: Top-end customer service, high-grade security with AES 256-bit encryption and all the major protocols are available for you if you choose TorGuard as your VPN. For just $9.99 per month, you will enjoy more than 3,000 servers in 55 countries around the world, one of them being the United States of America.
- IPVanish: Streamers love IPVanish because not only is it fast but also provides stable performance all the way. This US-based VPN brand has 750 servers in 60 nations across the globe, and you will have no problems watching the NBA Playoffs with it. On top of all that, IPVanish has unique encryption, is highly configurable, has a kill switch, and DNS leak protection.
- Private Internet Access: If you don’t have $10 on your monthly budget to acquire one of the top two options, PIA provides a comparable service for just $6.95. It has more than 3,500 servers in 29 nations, secure Wi-Fi, all the major protocols in the VPN world, and is very straightforward to install and use.
- GhostVPN: With this option, you will have unlimited speeds, bandwidth, and server switching, in addition to OpenVPN and all the most prominent protocols. GhostVPN has a decent network with 1,600 servers in 51 nations. You also get a 15-day money-back guarantee and stealth VPN, among several more features.
|PRICE||$5 for 1 month with code "best10VPN"||$6.95 a month|
|24/7 Live Chat|
|Residential / Dedicated IP for permanent streaming access|
|Has Mobile App + PC / Mac Support|
|Stealth VPN / Advanced Obfuscation techniques|
|Visit VPN Provider||Visit TorGuard||Visit PIA|
In conclusion, the 2018 NBA Playoffs are right around the corner, and you will surely don’t miss the most exciting games. The Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors look unstoppable, but the Golden State Warriors are the defending champions and, although they will not have their star Stephen Curry for the first round according to reports, they are equally dangerous.
If you are outside the US and want to enjoy the streaming signal of the best games, you will need the help of a reliable VPN service provider to make the system believe you are in America and bypass geographical restrictions.