Despite the fact that the Eastern Conference Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks ended last night with a Lebron James-led Cleveland sweep, and the Western Conference Finals will likely end tonight with a Golden State Warriors home win over the Houston Rockets, the NBA Finals start date of June 4 is set in stone and will not move up, even though that will mean more than a week without basketball on network or cable TV.
There are benefits to this beyond the fact that the TV schedule is all set already—and that’s the real reason the start date will not move. The week off will give both teams a chance to rest up and get healthy—Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving, who’s missed a couple of games, will have a chance to get more solidly back in starting lineup form, and the Warriors Mareese Speights will have a chance to get back in the rotation. Lebron James, a bit beaten up, will more likely be in top form. And everyone wants a series where everyone possible (sorry, Kevin Love) is healthy in the NBA Finals.
Here is the TV schedule for the NBA Finals, already set in stone:
Golden State/OR/Houston vs. Cleveland
Game 1: – Thu. June 4, Cleveland at Golden State/Houston, 9:00 PM , ABC
Game 2: Sun. June 7, Cleveland at Golden State/Houston, 8:00 PM, ABC
Game 3: Tue. June 9, Golden State/Houston at Cleveland, 9:00 PM, ABC
Game 4: Thu. June 11, Golden State/Houston at Cleveland, 9:00 PM, ABC
Game 5 *: Sun, June 14, Cleveland at Golden State/Houston, 8:00 PM, ABC
Game 6 *: Tue, June 16, Golden State/Houston at Cleveland, 9:00 PM, ABC
Game 7 *: Fri, June 19, Cleveland at Golden State/Houston, 9:00 PM, ABC
* = if necessary
It’s likely to be Lebron, now the playoff veteran and most recent champion in these playoffs, versus the upstart Warriors. Who ya got?