Thanks to a thrilling Game Seven showdown that lived up to the hype, the Golden State Warriors are back in the finals – and they’ll be defending their title against the same team that they beat in last year’s exciting Finals. Steph Curry and his sharp-shooting Warriors team set an NBA record with 73 wins in the 2015-16 season, but their regular-season dominance almost deserted them in the Western Conference Finals, where the Oklahoma City Thunder pushed them to the brink of elimination. The Warriors stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to win the series 4-3, and now they’re moving on. Meanwhile, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have been resting up since winning the Eastern Conference Finals in six games back on Friday night, and the best player on the planet seems more than ready to begin his quest for revenge against the best team in NBA history.
The action all starts on Thursday night, and you won’t want to miss it. Here’s how to watch the NBA Finals as a cord cutter.
When Are the NBA Finals Games, and What Channel Is the NBA Finals On?
Game 1: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors
Thursday, June 2 at 9 PM Eastern (6 PM Pacific)
Game 2: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors
Sunday, June 4 at 8 PM Eastern (5 PM Pacific)
Game 3: Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers
Wednesday, June 8 at 9 PM Eastern (6 PM Pacific)
Game 4: Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers
Friday, June 10 at 9 PM Eastern (6 PM Pacific)
Game 5: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors*
Monday, June 13 at 9 PM Eastern (6 PM Pacific)
Game 6: Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers*
Thursday, June 16 at 9 PM Eastern (6 PM Pacific)
Game 7: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors*
Sunday, June 19 at 8 PM Eastern (5 PM Pacific)
* If necessary
How to Watch or Stream the NBA Finals
The NBA Finals are a little simpler to follow than the NHL Stanley Cup Final (click here for a guide on streaming the Stanley Cup Final as a cord cutter), since the NBA Finals are all on just one network – ABC. The only other thing to keep in mind is that the two Sunday games – Game Two and the potential deciding Game Seven – are on an hour earlier than the rest, at 8 PM Eastern instead of 9.
ABC is relatively easy for many cord cutters to get ahold of, because it’s one of the four major networks that boast local affiliates all over the nation – local affiliates that broadcast over the air. That means that the odds are good that ABC is available in your area for free over the air. Unless you live in a very rural area, getting the NBA Finals should be as simple as finding the right antenna for your situation, buying it, and installing it before tip-off on Thursday. And finding the right antenna is easy when you follow our simple guide.
If you’re out range of your nearest ABC affiliate, you still have options. Sling TV includes ABC in their “Broadcast Extra” package. To get any of Sling TV’s Extras packages, you have to first subscribe to one of the two $20 base packages and then add the Extras at $5 each, so getting your hands on every Finals game via Sling TV will set you back $25/month. Of course, Sling also has a week-long free trial, so you can make timely use of that to catch key games. You can sign up for Sling TV’s free trial here.
That’s about it for the true cord cutter options, but password sharers have a third option – WatchESPN, which is activated by a pay TV password. ESPN covers the Finals via their fellow Disney-owned channel ABC, so the ABC broadcast is also available on ESPN’s standalone streaming platform.