The NBA has released the schedules for both Conference Finals series ahead of Sunday’s series opener between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Phoenix Suns. In addition, they have revealed the schedule for the Eastern Conference Finals, despite home-court advantage not yet being determined there.
In the West, the No. 2 seeded Suns and No. 4 seeded Clippers will face off, at least beginning their series without a star player in their corners. The Clippers will be without Kawhi Leonard for at least the first two games, and the same can likely be said for Chris Paul. Leonard suffered a knee injury against the Utah Jazz, and Paul is in the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Game 1 of this series is on Sunday, June 20, at 12:30 p.m. PT in Phoenix. The game will be televised on ABC. From Game 2 on, all Western Conference Finals games are on ESPN. Just two days later, Game 2 will take place on June 22 in Phoenix at 6:00 p.m. PT.
For Games 3 and 4, the series shifts to Los Angeles, where the Clippers will host their first-ever Conference Finals games. Game 3 is on June 24 at 6:00 p.m. PT, and Game 4 is on June 26 at 6:00 p.m. PT, with both games on ESPN.
If necessary, Game 5 is back in Phoenix on June 28 at 6:00 p.m. PT on ESPN. Two days later, Game 6 would be in L.A. if the series is continuing. The Clippers host that game on June 30 at 6:00 p.m. PT on ESPN. Finally, a potential series-deciding Game 7 will be on ESPN at 6:00 p.m. PT in Phoenix on Friday, July 2.
The Eastern Conference series is a bit more interesting, as home-court advantage has not yet been decided. Either the No. 1 seeded Philadelphia 76ers will host the No. 3 seeded Milwaukee Bucks, or the Bucks will host the No. 5 seeded Atlanta Hawks. The 76ers and Hawks play Game 7 on Sunday, June 20.
The schedule stays the same regardless. Game 1 will either be in Philadelphia or Milwaukee and will take place on Wednesday, June 23. All seven games of the Eastern Conference Finals — regardless of location — are broadcasted at 5:30 p.m. PT on TNT.
Game 2 is on Friday, June 25, with those same broadcasting details. Games 3 and 4 are on June 27 and June 29 and will either be played in Milwaukee if the 76ers win Game 7, or they will be in Atlanta if the Hawks win that same game.
Game 5 is on July 1, the day before the Clippers and Suns would play Game 7. Potential Games 6 and 7 will be on July 3 and July 5 if they are necessary.
The Conference Finals figures to be an exciting time between four fascinating and unexpected opponents. It will be interesting to see if the Clippers can continue to overcome the loss of Leonard, if Paul will miss significant time in the health and safety protocols, or if the Bucks can put their demons behind them to get to the NBA Finals.
2021 Draft Lottery scheduled as well
While the Los Angeles Lakers will not participate in either the conference finals or the Draft Lottery, both are slated for this week. The Draft Lottery has been scheduled for Tuesday, June 22 at 5:30 p.m. PT on ESPN, just 30 minutes before Game 2 of Clippers-Suns.