The NBA Conference Finals are right around the corner, and the TV schedule has officially been released.
Few people are surprised that the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs are still alive, but the Memphis Grizzlies have certainly turned some heads after toppling the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The winners of these two series will advance to the NBA Finals. Each team just needs four wins to be one step closer to a championship. With that being said, let’s go ahead and take a look at the schedule.
Note: Schedule provided by USAToday.com
Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers
All games on TNT at 8:30 p.m. ET
Game 1 – Wednesday, May 22 at Miami
Game 2 – Friday, May 24 at Miami
Game 3 – Sunday, May 26 at Indiana
Game 4 – Tuesday, May 28 at Indiana
Game 5 (if needed) – Thursday, May 30 at Miami
Game 6 (if needed) – Saturday, June 1 at Indiana
Game 7 (if needed) – Monday, June 3 at Miami
The Miami Heat are searching for their third straight appearance in the NBA Finals. Meanwhile, the the Pacers haven’t reached the Finals since 2000.
It’s no question that the Heat are the heavy favorite to win this series. After an incredible win streak of 27 games and a regular season record of 66-16, there’s little wonder why.
LeBron James will be looking to continue his goal of “not one, not two, not three” rings in his career.
For the Pacers, they’ve been relatively under-the-radar all year. With the absence of Danny Granger, this team wasn’t expected to do a lot. However, Frank Vogel and the starting five have done an excellent job keeping this team relevant thanks to solid scoring and incredible defense.
Paul George has been the star for this team, but David West has been the leader. The team is filled with young talent, but West has brought a veteran presence and has done a great job being a productive scorer while also motivating his team.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies
All games on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET, excluding Game 1
Game 1 – Sunday, May 19, 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC at San Antonio
Game 2 – Tuesday, May 21 at San Antonio
Game 3 – Saturday, May 25 at Memphis
Game 4 – Monday, May 27 at Memphis
Game 5 (if needed) – Wednesday, May 29 at San Antonio
Game 6 (if needed) – Friday, May 31 at Memphis
Game 7 (if needed) – Sunday, June 2 at San Antonio
Surprisingly, the Spurs haven’t been to the Finals since 2007, when they beat LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Grizzlies have never been to the finals, but the franchise has continued to show signs of improvement over the past few years.
The Big Three of the Spurs in Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan are getting old, and the chances of them winning another NBA championship are beginning to dwindle. They will be looking to potentially finish their careers on a high note, because there aren’t going to be many more chances after this season.
The Grizzlies were the best defensive team in the league during the regular season, allowing only 89.3 points per game. They don’t have a superstar, but they have some great players in Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Mike Conley. This franchise has continued to get better year after year, and now they are in the hunt for an appearance in the finals.
Who will advance to the NBA Finals? The next few weeks should tell us that. Until then, get ready for some great basketball between some talented teams.