Have you ever been frustrated at how late NBA Playoff games start late in the evening? Especially if you just so happen to be living on the East Coast? Well, it looks like ESPN is finally making moves to address those complaints. According to Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated, all upcoming NBA Finals games scheduled to air on ABC will now start at 8:30 Eastern Time (ET). The pair of Sunday games are slated to begin at 8 pm sharp.
Here is Traina’s full quote from his post on Twitter:
“ESPN announced all NBA Finals games airing on ABC will begin at 8:30 ET, with the two Sunday games beginning at 8pm. The games began at 9pm in previous years.”
It’s refreshing to see ESPN caring enough to try at least to make watching the NBA’s most important 7-game series as comfortable and convenient as possible. It’ll make watching the rest of the preceding games all the more enjoyable. As it stands in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat have knocked out the Milwaukee Bucks to advance to the Conference Semi-Finals. They will take on the New York Knicks—who beat the Cleveland Cavaliers—on April 30th. The Boston Celtics currently hold a 3-2 lead over the Atlanta Hawks, and the Philadelphia 76ers pulled off a clean sweep of the Brooklyn Nets.
Meanwhile, over in the Western Conference, the Memphis Grizzlies force a game 6 after beating the Los Angeles Lakers only to be down one game (2-3) in the series. The defending NBA Champions—Golden State Warriors—have come roaring back against the Sacramento Kings to take a 3-2 lead in their series. The Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets have taken down the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers to advance to the Conference Semi-Finals.
The adjusted times may inconvenience some fans over in the West, but only time will tell how this change will impact the majority of the league’s viewership.
ESPN announced all NBA Finals games airing on ABC will begin at 8:30 ET, with the two Sunday games beginning at 8pm. The games began at 9pm in previous years.
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) April 26, 2023