The 2019 NBA Playoffs are nearing the end, but fans will have to wait another few days before the championship gets underway. With the NBA Finals now officially set, as the Golden State Warriors will face the Toronto Raptors, the series starts on Thursday, May 30. This means that there will be no playoff basketball once again on Tuesday, May 28, marking the third consecutive day without action.
The Warriors received an unreal nine days off before the NBA Finals after sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals. While the Raptors won’t receive as much time to rest, they still get five days after ending the Eastern Conference Finals matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 on Saturday night.
We’re going to take a look at the 2019 NBA Finals start date and schedule, along with a few storylines worth watching in the series.
NBA Finals Schedule, Start Date & Home-Court Advantage
The Warriors find themselves using the final few days off to sort out the health situation of both Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins. Although Durant has been ruled out for Game 1 of the series against the Raptors, Cousins’ status remains more up in the air, but the team has until Thursday to make a final call.
Here’s a look at the NBA Finals schedule, per Sports Media Watch.
|Thurs., May 30||Warriors vs. Raptors Game 1||9 p.m. ABC|
|Sun., June 2||Warriors vs. Raptors Game 2||8 p.m. ABC|
|Wed., June 5||Raptors vs. Warriors Game 3||9 p.m. ABC|
|Fri., June 7||Raptors vs. Warriors Game 4||9 p.m. ABC|
|Mon., June 10||Warriors vs. Raptors Game 5||9 p.m. ABC|
|Thurs., June 13||Raptors vs. Warriors Game 6||9 p.m. ABC|
|Sun. June 16||Warriors vs. Raptors Game 7||8 p.m. ABC|
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The action gets underway in Toronto for the first two games before shifting to Golden State for the next two. After that point, assuming the final three matchups are necessary, they’ll go back-and-forth between Toronto and Golden State, with the Raptors having home-court advantage.
With nearly a full week between Game 1 and Game 3, that could help the chances of Durant and Cousins possibly returning to action.
Kevin Durant & DeMarcus Cousins Injury Updates
As the NBA revealed on Monday, Durant (calf strain) has been ruled out for the opener while Cousins (torn quad) is listed as questionable. If the Warriors are able to get him back in any capacity early on it’d be big for their outlook and chances to steal one of the first two games on the road.
As The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears revealed, Cousins took part in a scrimmage during a recent practice, an obvious step in the right direction for the big man.
It’s unknown how much Cousins would play if he’s able to return early in the series, but the expectation is that it’d be a limited capacity. Regardless, the Warriors potentially having him back in the mix would bolster their front line while making life a bit easier for the likes of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.