With the 2019 NBA Finals set to tip off Thursday night, here’s a look at the TV schedule for the series.
For the first time in almost a decade, we’re about to witness an NBA Finals that does not include LeBron James.
And for the first time in four years, the Finals won’t feature the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But the Golden State Warriors are back, of course, playing for a championship for the fifth year in a row.
Here’s the official Finals schedule, with the home team in parentheses. Games 5, 6 and 7 are, of course, only to be played if necessary. All games will be televised nationally on ABC.
Game 1 (Toronto): Thursday, May 30 — 9 p.m.
Game 2 (Toronto): Sunday, June 2 — 8 p.m.
Game 3 (Golden State): Wednesday, June 5 — 9 p.m.
Game 4 (Golden State): Friday, June 7 — 9 p.m.
Game 5 (Toronto): Monday, June 10 — 9 p.m.
Game 6 (Golden State): Thursday, June 13 — 9 p.m.
Game 7 (Toronto): Sunday, June 16 — 8 p.m.
This edition of the Finals between Golden State and the Toronto Raptors does not lack subplots. Not surprisingly, many of them are centered around the two-time defending champions.
The biggest story is the absence of Kevin Durant, and just how long it will last. The Warriors have remained dominant without him, making quick work of the Portland Trail Blazers by way of a four-game sweep in the Western Conference Finals. Durant, who suffered a calf strain in Game 5 of the conference semifinals against Houston, has already been ruled out for Game 1 and is reportedly unlikely to play in Game 2.
As the Warriors await the return of their two-time Finals MVP, they do get DeMarcus Cousins back from a quad injury that has kept him out since the first round of the playoffs. Though his minutes will almost certainly be limited, all eyes will be on Cousins as he is re-integrated into the Golden State rotation.
The series has long-term implications, too, as Golden State’s Durant and Klay Thompson and Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard are all set to hit free agency this summer. If the Warriors continue to win without him, does Durant really want to return to a place where he isn’t needed? And if Kawhi leads the Raptors to the franchise’s first title, he can’t possibly leave, right?
All that, and plenty more, will unfold over the next two weeks.