The 2019 NBA Finals are right around the corner, but before that point arrives, there are a few tight matchups which need to be decided. In the near future, we’ll have both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals matchups set, leaving four teams playing for the chance to head to the championship.
With the second round matchups beginning to take shape, we’re going to take a look at the upcoming schedules for the conference championships. From there, we’ll evaluate what we know about the NBA Finals schedule while also offering a prediction and pick, which is a tall task based on which teams still remain alive.
2019 NBA Playoff Bracket
While the four second-round matchups haven’t been decided yet, the Milwaukee Bucks sit just one game away from the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. We’ll update the bracket as more results come to light, but for the time being, it appears at least one or two of the above matchups could wind up going to seven games.
Follow the Heavy NBA Facebook page for all the latest stories, rumors and viral content!
NBA Playoff Schedule: Western & Eastern Conference Finals
The tentative start dates for the Western and Eastern Conference Finals are listed below courtesy of Sports Media Watch. The start dates for these two series could potentially be moved up one or two days, depending on how the previous matchups go. We’ll update the full schedule once both matchups are set.
- WCF – Tuesday, May 14: Game 1 at 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- ECF – Wednesday, May 15: Game 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
- WCF – Thursday, May 16: Game 2 at 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- ECF – Friday, May 17: Game 2 at 8:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
- WCF – Saturday, May 18: Game 3 at 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- WCF – Monday, May 20: Game 4 at 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- *WCF – Wednesday, May 22: Game 5 at 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- *WCF – Friday, May 24: Game 6 at 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- *WCF – Sunday, May 26: Game 7 at 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
It’s worth noting that only Games 2 and 3 for the Eastern Conference have been revealed, but the expectation is that the trend of the teams playing on opposite days of the West is what will happen. In turn, the East would play on May 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25 and 27.
2019 NBA Finals Schedule: Dates & Times
While we know when the 2019 NBA Finals will start, the exact dates and times for Games 2-6 have not been released. Sports Media Group revealed the schedule information which has been provided thus far.
Thursday, May 30
- NBA Finals Game 1 at 9 p.m. ET (ABC)
Sunday, June 16
- *NBA Finals Game 7 time TBD (ABC)
Based on the schedule provided and looking back at previous years, we can get a decent idea of when the NBA Finals games will be. During the 2018 NBA Finals, there were two days off prior to Games 2 and 3. Then prior to Game 4, it was one day off before it was slated to go back to two days for Games 5-7, per NBA.com.
Assuming that same scheduling layout happens this season, it would result in Game 2 falling on Sunday, June 2 followed by Game 3 on Wednesday, June 5 and Game 4 on Friday, June 7. The league could opt to shift that Friday game to Saturday potentially, so we’ll have to wait and see on that. But sticking to the trend above, Game 5 would be scheduled for Tuesday, June 10, Game 6 on Thursday, June 13 and finally Game 7 on the aforementioned Sunday, June 16.
NBA Finals Prediction
This is where things get tough, as each of the teams remaining could potentially get hot at the right time and make a run through the NBA Finals. The Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo look great and have bounced back from a Game 1 loss to the Celtics in impressive fashion. While I believe the Philadelphia 76ers have a chance to pull off an upset of the Toronto Raptors, I think either team will fall to the Bucks.
Out in the Western Conference, the Golden State Warriors will be tough to defeat on their home floor. The Houston Rockets are capable of pulling off that upset, but they’ve had their hands full with Kevin Durant and company. If the Rockets are able to even the series with Golden State and eventually even make it to a win or go home Game 7, I’d take the underdog and James Harden to stun the defending champs.
Regardless, I’m going to roll with the Bucks and the Greek Freak to win the 2019 NBA Championship after a superb 60-win regular season.