2021 NBA Playoffs Tip Off This Weekend with Five Nationally-Televised First Round Games on ESPN Platforms

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2021 NBA Playoffs Tip Off This Weekend with Five Nationally-Televised First Round Games on ESPN Platforms

Game Coverage Starts This Saturday with Game 1 Quadrupleheader Including Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics in Primetime on ABC

  • Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James Begin NBA Championship Defense this Sunday on ABC
  • ESPN to Exclusively Televise Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies Final State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament Game on Friday at 9 p.m. ET
  • Four NBA Countdown Pregame Episodes this Weekend Beginning Tonight at 8 p.m. ET

The 2021 NBA Playoffs will tip off with five nationally-televised first round games on ESPN platforms this weekend. Game coverage starts on Saturday, May 22, with a Game 1 quadrupleheader spanning 11 hours across ESPN and ABC.

The Brooklyn Nets – led by the trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden – will host the Boston Celtics and the duo of Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Two Curt Gowdy Media Award-winning commentators – Mike Breen and analyst Doris Burke – will provide commentary with Lisa Salters reporting.

Earlier on Saturday, the defending Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat and Jimmy Butler will square off with the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo at 2 p.m. on ESPN. Ryan Ruocco, analyst and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Hubie Brown and reporter Malika Andrews will provide commentary. At 4:30 p.m., the LA Clippers and Kawhi Leonard host the Dallas Mavericks and Luka Dončić. Dave Pasch will call the action with analyst Richard Jefferson and reporter Jorge Sedano.

Saturday’s coverage culminates at 10:30 p.m. when the Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard visit the Denver Nuggets and Nikola Jokić. Jason Benetti and analyst Vince Carter will both call their first playoff telecast with Cassidy Hubbarth reporting.

Los Angeles Lakers begin title defense

This Sunday, May 23, the Los Angeles Lakers – led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis – will begin their NBA Championship defense as they visit the Phoenix Suns and Chris Paul in Game 1. Mark Jones will provide commentary with analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson with Rachel Nichols reporting.

All NBA games on ESPN and ABC platforms are available to stream on the ESPN App. Commentator assignments and coverage details for ESPN’s games beyond May 23 will be announced in the coming days.

State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament final game

ESPN will exclusively televise the final Western Conference State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament game on Friday, May 21, at 9 p.m. The Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry will host the Memphis Grizzlies and Ja Morant on ESPN. Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and reporter Rachel Nichols will be on the call.

NBA Countdown

Maria Taylor will host four editions of the NBA Countdown pregame show this weekend, including a one-hour ESPN show from 1-2 p.m. on Saturday leading into the Heat vs. Bucks game. Taylor will be joined by analysts Jalen Rose and Jay Williams and ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski. The team will return for halftime shows throughout the day on Saturday and lead a 15-minute edition of the show prior to the Nets vs. Celtics game on ABC. NBA Countdown will return on Sunday from 3-330 p.m. on ABC preceding the Lakers vs. Suns matchup. The team will also preview the Warriors vs. Grizzlies game tonight beginning at 8 p.m.

ESPN and ABC

Date Time (ET) Telecast/Game Platform(s)
Sat, May 22 1 p.m. NBA Countdown Presented by Mountain Dew ESPN, ESPN App
2 p.m. Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks Presented by Mountain Dew Game 1 ESPN, ESPN App
4:30 p.m. Dallas Mavericks vs. LA Clippers Presented by Mountain Dew Game 1 ESPN, ESPN App
8 p.m. NBA Countdown ABC, ESPN App
8:15 p.m. Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets Presented by Mountain Dew Game 1 ABC, ESPN App
10:30 p.m. Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets Presented by Mountain Dew Game 1 ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Sun, May 23 3 p.m. NBA Countdown Presented by Mountain Dew ABC, ESPN App
3:30 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns Presented by Mountain Dew Game 1 ABC, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Fri, May 28 7 p.m. New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks Presented by Mountain Dew Game 3 ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
8 p.m. NBA Countdown ABC, ESPN App
8:30 p.m. Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics Presented by Mountain Dew Game 3 ABC, ESPN App
9:30 p.m. LA Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks Presented by Mountain Dew Game 3 ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Sat, May 29 6 p.m. NBA Countdown Presented by Mountain Dew ESPN, ESPN App
7:10 p.m. Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards Presented by Mountain Dew Game 3 ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
9:30 p.m Utah Jazz vs. Memphis Grizzlies Presented by Mountain Dew Game 3 ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Sun, May 30 12:30 p.m. NBA Countdown Presented by Mountain Dew ABC, ESPN App
1 p.m. New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks Presented by Mountain Dew Game 4 ABC, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
3:30 p.m. Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers Presented by Mountain Dew Game 4 ABC, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Fri, June 4 TBD Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards Presented by Mountain Dew Game 6 *if necessary ESPN, ESPN App
TBD New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks Presented by Mountain Dew Game 6* if necessary ESPN, ESPN App
TBD LA Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks Presented by Mountain Dew Game 6* if necessary ESPN, ESPN App
TBD Utah Jazz vs. Memphis Grizzlies Presented by Mountain Dew Game 6* if necessary ESPN, ESPN App
Sun, June 6 TBD NBA Countdown Presented by Mountain Dew ABC, ESPN App
TBD TBD Game 7 *if necessary ABC, ESPN App
TBD TBD Game 7 *if necessary ABC, ESPN App

 

ESPN Radio

Date Time (ET) Telecast/Game Commentators
Sat, May 22 4 p.m. Dallas Mavericks vs. LA Clippers Game 1 Sean Kelley, P.J. Carlesimo
Sun, May 23 3 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns Game 1 Marc Kestecher, Jon Barry
Thu, May 27 7 p.m. Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat Game 3 Marc Kestecher, P.J. Carlesimo
Fri, May 28 8 p.m. Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics Game 3 Sean Kelley, P.J. Carlesimo
Sat, May 29 TBD TBD Marc Kestecher, Jon Barry
Sun, May 30 3 p.m. Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers Game 4 Sean Kelley, P.J. Carlesimo
Mon, May 31 TBD TBD Marc Kestecher, Jon Barry

 

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Shakeemah Simmons-Winter

I am a senior publicist for men’s pro sports, working predominantly with the NBA and FIBA properties. I’m a Jersey City, NJ native, so I cheer for all New York sports and athletes, win or lose. I began my sports career as a small forward for JCPS #9’s elementary basketball team, and then years later gave up my hoop dreams (sort of) to work as the Public Relations Coordinator for the New York Knicks. Prior to working in sports, I briefly worked as an intern turned production assistant for the Wendy Williams Show. I earned a B.A. in Communications from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, where I met my husband Matthew, and later attended New York University to earn a M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communications. I am excited to continue my sports journey with some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the sports industry.
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