We’re still a few weeks away from the start of the 2023 NBA Finals. As of Wednesday afternoon, only three teams have clinched a spot in the conference semifinals — the Philadelphia 76ers swept the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference, while the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns took care of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers, respectively, in five games on Tuesday night in the Western Conference.
Wednesday night could be big for some more conference semifinal contenders, as the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Miami Heat can all punch their tickets to the next round. All of it, of course, is done in pursuit of a berth in the NBA Finals, and on Wednesday afternoon, ESPN announced the full schedule and tip times for this year’s games. The biggest news is that none of the games will have a later tip time on the east coast, as every game either starts at 8 or 8:30 p.m. EST.
Here is the full schedule:
Game 1: Thursday, June 1, 8:30 p.m. EST
Game 2: Sunday, June 4, 8 p.m. EST
Game 3: Wednesday, June 7, 8:30 p.m. EST
Game 4: Friday, June 9, 8:30 p.m. EST
Game 5 (if necessary): Monday, June 12, 8:30 p.m. EST
Game 6 (if necessary): Thursday, June 15, 8:30 p.m. EST
Game 7 (if necessary): Sunday, June 18, 8 p.m. EST
A common complaint among basketball fans on the east coast is that games that tip at 9 p.m. EST (or, with how pregame stuff works, a few minutes later than that) will oftentimes end close to midnight, which can make it hard to justify staying up for games, especially on a weekday. While we’ll have to see just how long pregame stuff runs with the new tip times, it’s good to see the league and ESPN attempt to remedy this while still tipping weekday games late enough so folks on the west coast can hopefully get home from work in time to watch.
All of the NBA Finals games will take place on ABC.