ESPN will exclusively televise the 2020 NBA Eastern Conference Finals presented by AT&T 5G starting with Game 1 on Tuesday, September 15, currently slated for 8:30 p.m. ET. The Miami Heat and Jimmy Butler will square off with the Boston Celtics and Jayson Tatum. The Eastern Conference Finals will be available on ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, the ESPN App and on various ESPN international platforms. Game 2 of the series is scheduled for Thursday, September 17, and Game 3 is slated for Saturday, September 19. Times are to be determined. The full game schedule will be released in the coming days.
Curt Gowdy Media Award-winning broadcaster Mike Breen will provide commentary for the Eastern Conference Finals with analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson. The trio will call the NBA Finals presented by YouTube TV on ABC as well. Breen, Van Gundy and Jackson are the NBA’s longest-tenured Conference Finals and Finals broadcast team, entering their 12th season calling these monumental events. Additionally, ESPN host and journalist Rachel Nichols will join the team for her first year as the sideline reporter. Nichols will conduct pregame, in-game and postgame interviews for the Eastern Conference Finals on ESPN and the NBA Finals on ABC. She’ll also host the trophy presentations at the conclusion of each event.
The Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 start time, along with ESPN and ESPN Radio commentator assignments, could be adjusted in the event of a Western Conference Semifinals Game 7 between the LA Clippers and the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, September 15.
The NBA Countdown presented by Mountain Dew pregame show will precede the Eastern Conference Finals from a new studio within ESPN’s Seaport District studios in New York, N.Y. NBA Countdown is hosted by Maria Taylor and features analysts Jalen Rose, Stephen A. Smith and Jay Williams with former NBA Champion Paul Pierce contributing remotely. ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski will contribute reports from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – home of the NBA Playoffs. Nichols and analyst Richard Jefferson will also provide live reports to NBA Countdown from the NBA Florida Campus.
Doris Burke, also a Curt Gowdy Media Award-winning broadcaster, will join the ESPN Radio team and become the first woman to serve as game analyst for the NBA Conference Finals and NBA Finals on any platform. The trailblazing Burke will provide commentary alongside play-by-play voice Marc Kestecher and fellow analyst Jon Barry for both the Eastern Conference Finals and the Western Conference Finals. ESPN Radio is in its 25th consecutive season as the national radio broadcast home of the NBA Conference Finals and NBA Finals. Audio from the ESPN Radio broadcasts will be available to stream via the ESPN App.
ESPN App alternate presentations
ESPN will offer fans multiple alternative viewing experiences for Eastern Conference Finals games, featuring unique camera angles and vantage points that are available to stream on the ESPN App:
- Rail Cam: Mobile, robotic camera placed courtside and provides vantage point as if the fan was sitting courtside at the game. Includes audio from the microphones placed underneath the court, capturing sounds such as the ball bouncing on the court and player sneakers squeaking as they run.
- Above The Rim Cam: Vantage point via cameras placed above the hoop atop the backboard, providing aerial views and a “video game” feel.
- Layup Lines: A pregame alternate presentation where fans can watch the pregame warmups for each team and also capture the natural sound from the arena.
ESPN Deportes will provide exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the Eastern Conference Finals with the team of play-by-play voice Ernesto Jerez and analyst Coach Carlos Morales calling the action. Sebastian Martinez Christensen will report from ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Hoop Streams – ESPN’s digital NBA pregame show – will precede all Eastern Conference Finals games with a 30-minute show from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. studios. The show is hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth and includes a rotating cast of commentators, including Kendrick Perkins, Amin Elhassan, Christine Williamson, Omar Raja, and Gary Striewski. Hoop Streams airs live on the ESPN App and ESPN’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube platforms.
ESPN will also provide comprehensive coverage of the Eastern Conference Finals on its news and information platforms, including SportsCenter, ESPN.com and within its daily NBA show, The Jump. Reporters Adrian Wojnarowski, Malika Andrews and The Undefeated’s Marc Spears will be among the reporters providing on site updates throughout the series.