The Cleveland Cavaliers are once again headed to the NBA finals. The finals matchup will not be known until after the Warriors-Rockets play Game 7, but we do know the schedule. The 2018 NBA Finals will start on Thursday, May 31 at 9 p.m. Eastern on ABC. Houston or Golden State will host the opening game as they are the higher seed.
LeBron James is headed to his eighth straight NBA finals despite Cleveland being 2.5 point underdogs in Game 7. James and the Cavs will wait to see whether they will get a fourth straight matchup against the Warriors, or square of with the No. 1 seeded Rockets. Prior to Game 7, Larry Nance Jr. noted the Cavs were going into the game with the “baddest dude on the planet.”
“There’s something different about LeBron, period,” Nance told The Salt Lake Tribune. “I think [coach Tyronn Lue] said it best: ‘We’re going into a Game 7 with the baddest dude on the planet on our team.’ I like our chances.”
James was able to keep his streak alive despite having arguably one of the weakest rosters around him that he has had in recent years. Rumors continue to swirl around James future, but the summer can wait a few more weeks as James punched his annual ticket to the finals.
The Rockets took both games against the Cavaliers in the regular season. Most recently, Houston defeated Cleveland by 32 points in their February 3rd matchup. Chris Paul had 22 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds to lead the Rockets to a decisive victory. No player had more than 12 points for the Cavs as James was just 3-for-10 from the field in the game. Golden State also won both matchups against the Cavaliers this season in addition to winning the 2017 NBA Finals.
The big story line heading into the finals will be the status of Kevin Love, who is in the NBA’s concussion protocol. According to ESPN, Love was in the building for Game 7, but stayed in the locker room due to concerns about the noise impacting his injury. Jeff Green started in Love’s place, and could get the call again in Game 1 if Love has not been cleared to play.
James had some injury concerns of his own after being slow to get up in Game 6, but looked just fine in the Eastern Conference finale. James spoke to ESPN about his injury, which he will now have four days off to help recover.
“I just felt someone fall into my leg, and my leg kind of went in,” James told ESPN. “I felt some pain throughout my entire right side of my ankle into my leg. I was just hoping for the best, obviously, because I’ve seen so many different injuries, and watching basketball with that type of injury, someone fall into one’s leg standing straight up. Luckily, I was able to finish the game.”
Here’s a look at the NBA finals schedule.
NBA Finals 2018 Schedule
All times listed are in Eastern, and Games 5-7 are if necessary.
|Thursday, May 31||Game 1||9 p.m. ABC|
|Sunday, June 3||Game 2||8 p.m. ABC|
|Wednesday, June 6||Game 3||9 p.m. ABC|
|Friday, June 8||Game 4||9 p.m. ABC|
|Monday, June 11||Game 5*||9 p.m. ABC|
|Thursday, June 14||Game 6*||9 p.m. ABC|
|Sunday, June 17||Game 7*||8 p.m. ABC|