NBA playoff bracket 2020: TV schedule, scores, results, start time, live stream for Lakers-Heat Finals
The Los Angeles Lakers clinched a Finals berth after ousting the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. LeBron James will face off against his former team for the title after the Miami Heat took down the Boston Celtics in six games. Every NBA Finals game will air on ABC. Stream available in select markets through fuboTV (Try for free).
How to watch NBA Finals games
Every game of the 2020 NBA Finals will be shown exclusively on ABC. The series can also be streamed via Watch ESPN or fuboTV, which offers a free seven-day trial.
Below is all the viewing information you’ll need for each series.
Finals schedule: (1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (5) Miami Heat
All times Eastern
Game 1: Wednesday, Sept. 30, 9 p.m. | TV: ABC
Game 2: Friday, Oct. 2, 9 p.m. | TV: ABC
Game 3: Sunday, Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m. | TV: ABC
Game 4: Tuesday, Oct. 6, 9 p.m. | TV: ABC
Game 5: Friday, Oct. 9, 9 p.m. | TV: ABC Game 6: Sunday, Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m. | TV: ABC
Game 7*: Tuesday, Oct. 13, 9 p.m. | TV: ABC
LeBron James won his first NBA championship in 2012 with the Heat. Now he must go through them if he wants to capture his fourth ring.
James and the Lakers cruised through the Western Conference side of the playoff bracket on their way to the 2020 NBA Finals, ending each of their series in five games. Miami, meanwhile, dominated the Eastern Conference field in a nearly identical fashion. The Heat only dropped four games over the course of their postseason run, most notably sending the top-seeded Bucks home in five.
Now, the final two teams left in the NBA’s “bubble” will meet for a chance to claim the Larry O’Brien trophy. Will James and Anthony Davis lead the Lakers to the title? Or can Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and the Heat pull off one more upset?
Below you’ll find everything you need to know about watching the 2020 NBA Finals.
MORE: Watch select NBA playoff games live with fuboTV (7-day trial)
Oh, that guy is back. James has reached nine of the past 10 NBA Finals, this time coming out of the Western Conference with the Lakers after eight trips as a member of the Cavs, and yes, the Heat. The reunion storyline will be hanging over the Miami-Los Angeles matchup because James’ departure from South Beach in 2014 left hard feelings on both sides.
However, this isn’t about James facing Pat Riley. It’s about a championship favorite in the Lakers facing a Heat team with some serious 2004 Pistons vibes.
James and Anthony Davis are the top two players in the series, but how far down the list can you go before hitting another Laker? Butler, Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic and more have each made a splash in these playoffs for the Heat and contributed to victories in their own ways. Miami isn’t satisfied with making it this far — the Heat are here to win it all.
Which team will leave the “bubble” with the Larry O’Brien trophy? Let’s dive in …
The key matchup
LeBron James vs. Jimmy Butler, Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala
There is no stopping James, but the Heat can deploy a few forwards capable of at least challenging him, including a former Finals MVP in Iguodala who is extremely familiar with James’ game from the Cavs-Warriors days.
As has always been the case, the key is to prevent James from living in the paint. Through 15 playoff games, James has taken 267 field goal attempts, 139 of which have come within eight feet of the basket, per NBA.com stats. If he gets rolling downhill, well, good luck with that.
Keep him on the perimeter, though, and you can live with the results. James is shooting just 32.5 percent on 3-pointers above the break this postseason, and he dipped under 30 percent from deep against both the Rockets and Nuggets.
No need to chase over screens like James is Duncan Robinson. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will take this possession every time.
You just got to have that will, understanding you’re guarding the top talent ever,” Iguodala told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears. “He’s going to make you pay when you make mistakes. You just try to play mistake-free basketball. Put him in vulnerable situations where you feel like you got the advantage, whether it’s a shot or a pass or where he is defensively.”
Butler, Crowder and Iguodala possess the strength, speed and quick hands to occasionally push James away from the areas in which he’d prefer to operate.
When it comes down to it, though, defense on James is a team effort. That’s why Spoelstra may use Miami’s zone defense as a change-up pitch.
Can Anthony Davis break the Heat’s zone defense?
The problem with the zone? Davis is the ideal guy to carve it up, and James knows how to find him.
While the Heat flustered the Celtics with the zone at times during the Eastern Conference finals, the Lakers are a different animal. Instead of Daniel Theis catching the ball in the middle, it’s a First Team All-NBA player. (Meyers Leonard won’t be part of the zone in the Finals, but the point stands.)