- NBA Countdown and SportsCenter with Stephen A. Smith to Precede Nets vs. Bucks on Thursday
- Six-time NBA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Joins ESPN’s The Jump Wednesday, June 16
- Monday, June 21, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson Joins ESPN’s Morning Shows Live from Seaport Studios
The 2021 NBA Playoffs continue with three pivotal conference semifinals matchups this week on ESPN. On Thursday, June 17, at 8:30 p.m. ET, the Brooklyn Nets, led by two-time NBA Champion Kevin Durant, visit the Milwaukee Bucks, led by two-time NBA M.V.P. Giannis Antetokounmpo. Play-by-play commentator Mark Jones will call the action from Fiserv Forum with Hall of Fame analyst Doris Burke and sideline reporter Cassidy Hubbarth. Sean Kelley will describe the game for ESPN Radio with analyst P.J. Carlesimo. Radio coverage begins at 8 p.m.
Thursday’s pregame coverage tips-off at 7 p.m. with an edition of SportsCenter with Stephen A. Smith. NBA Countdown presented by Mountain Dew will lead into the game, beginning at 7:30 p.m., and provide halftime studio coverage with host Maria Taylor, analysts Jalen Rose and Jay Williams and Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
Game coverage resumes on June 18 with a Friday night doubleheader. At 7:30 p.m., Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks host Game 6 against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers. Dave Pasch will be on-site to call the game with Hall of Fame analyst Hubie Brown and reporter Malika Andrews. Following Hawks vs. Sixers, Hall of Fame commentator Mike Breen and analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy will provide commentary from Staples Center as the Utah Jazz face the LA Clippers. Journalist Rachel Nichols will contribute with sideline reports. The 10 p.m. nightcap features seven-time NBA All-Star, Paul George, two-time NBA All-Star, Donovan Mitchell and three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert. The NBA Countdown team will return with pregame and halftime coverage.
If necessary, Game 7 of the Clippers vs. Jazz series will air Sunday, June 20, at 3:30 p.m. on ABC. If Game 7 is not necessary, the winner of the series will face the Phoenix Suns, starring Devin Booker, in the same timeslot for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals presented by AT&T.
Hoop Streams, ESPN’s 30-minute digital NBA pre-game, will preview Thursday’s Nets vs. Bucks matchup, beginning at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoon’s ABC matchup, beginning at 3 p.m. Christine Williamson will host Thursday’s show with commentary from Gary Striewski and Treavor Scales. Sunday’s show is hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth. Hoop Streams is available on ESPN’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts and on the ESPN App.
ESPN and ABC
|Thu, June 17||7 p.m.||SportsCenter with Stephen A. Smith||Stephen A. Smith||ESPN, ESPN App|
|7:30 p.m.||NBA Countdown Presented by Mountain Dew||Maria Taylor, Jalen Rose, Jay Williams, Adrian Wojnarowski||ESPN, ESPN App|
|8:30 p.m.||Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks | Game 6||Mark Jones, Doris Burke, Cassidy Hubbarth, Steve Javie||ESPN, ESPN App|
|Fri, June 18||7 p.m.||NBA Countdown presented by Mountain Dew||Maria Taylor, Jalen Rose, Jay Williams, Adrian Wojnarowski||ESPN, ESPN App|
|7:30 p.m.||Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks | Game 6||Dave Pasch, Hubie Brown, Malika Andrews, Steve Javie||ESPN, ESPN App|
|10 p.m.||Utah Jazz vs. LA Clippers | Game 6||Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Rachel Nichols, Steve Javie||ESPN, ESPN App|
|Sun, June 20||3 p.m.||NBA Countdown presented by Hotels.com||Maria Taylor, Jalen Rose, Jay Williams, Adrian Wojnarowski||ABC, ESPN App|
|3:30 p.m.||LA Clippers vs. Utah Jazz | Game 7
WCF | Game 1
|TBD||ABC, ESPN App|
|Thu, June 17||8 p.m.||Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks | Game 6||Sean Kelley, P.J. Carlesimo|
The Jump, ESPN’s daily NBA news and discussion show, airs Monday – Friday at 3 p.m. with host Rachel Nichols and a rotating cast of high-profile analysts and reporters. This week’s cast includes Malika Andrews, Matt Barnes, Vince Carter, Zach Lowe, Jackie MacMullan, Monica McNutt, Ramona Shelburne and Marc Spears.
On Wednesday, Basketball Hall of Famer, six-time NBA Champion and activist, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, will join The Jump to discuss the NBA Playoffs, his upcoming documentary and the newly implemented NBA Social Justice Champion Award, named in his honor.
Magic Johnson Visits Seaport Studios
On Monday, June 21, Basketball Hall of Famer and five-time NBA Champion, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, is scheduled to join ESPN’s morning shows including ESPN Radio’s Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin with Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams and Alan Hahn (6-10 a.m.) and ESPN’s Get Up (8-10 a.m.) and First Take (10 a.m.-12 p.m.). Johnson will make a live, in-person guest appearance on all three shows from the network’s New York Seaport Studios providing must-see insight and analysis on the biggest NBA headlines including NBA Conference Finals, possible Finals matchups and much more.
NBA on ESPN: All Time is at Stake
As the NBA Playoffs move closer to the highly anticipated NBA Finals, ESPN released a fifth and final creative spot for the 2021 NBA on ESPN season: “All Time is at Stake.” After a season of telling the unpredictable stories of the NBA, ESPN reached the moment it’s all been building toward. With five “trailers” in total, the partners brought the NBA on ESPN to life as a great movie franchise with a cinematic look and feel to each of the spots which feature award-winning editing and visual effects. The spots include “It’s NBA on ESPN Time”, “Season Storylines”, “Time is Running Out” and “Time Will Tell”.
Today on ESPN.com, Kirk Goldsberry points out what both the Hawks and Sixers need to do in order to take the lead in their semi-conference finals series.
Tomorrow, Kevin Pelton writes about how injuries, unexpected star performances and historic franchise runs, make the 2021 NBA Playoffs unlike any other.