The NBA Playoffs are into the finals with the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs and after a long slog into the summer, Game 1 of the finals begins on Thursday night in South Florida with ABC and ESPN handling the broadcasting duties, with Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy on the live broadcast.
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The Heat and Indiana Pacers played a great and competitive series and while Indiana has depth and is a hard nosed team, no in the NBA offices or at the ESPN campus was hoping for a Pacers Spurs matchup. The battle between the Miami Heat and San Antonio is not lacking for storylines and the fact that the two teams are considered two of the best in the league means that ratings could be at an all-time high. The Heat are the new dynasty and the Spurs are the old guard after winning three titles and now the two will go at it.
Both sides have their own Big Three in Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili for the Spurs and LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh for the Heat and over the past two years when Miami was in the finals, the ratings were over 15 million. The Heat are into the finals for the third straight season after losing to the Dallas Mavericks and beating the Thunder in five last year and now they will go against a team that has won three championships together. The Game 7 matchup between the Heat and the Pacers set a record for TNT and the NBA and ESPN are hoping for similar numbers as the series goes on. LeBron James took over in Game 7 and put the Heat in the finals and now he has the chance to take revenge on a Spurs team that swept his Cavaliers in 2007.
Game 1 gets started up at 9 PM on Thursday and Games 3, 4, 6 and 7 will be the same with the Sunday Games of 2 and 5 will be at 8 PM on ABC. Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy will be on the call for Game 1 and ESPN will also be handling the Radio calls as well as the pre and postgame show with the Countdown crew. The Heat come into the game after playing Monday, while the Spurs have been off since last week after defeating the Grizzlies in four games. James had 32 points in the final game while Wade added nine rebounds. Duncan and Parker will be hard to beat, while James is ready for revenge for 2007.