NBA preview: 18-24 September 2020

Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (L) in action against Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (R) during the first half of the NBA basketball semi final Eastern Conference playoff game five between the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Florida, USA, 08 September 2020. EPA/ERIK S. LESSER SHUTTERSTOCK OUT

Viewers on DStv can look forward to thrills and spills from the world’s best basketball league, as ESPN 2 brings live action from the 2019-20 National Basketball Association (NBA) season this coming week, Friday 18 to Thursday 24 September 2020.

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ESPN 2 will feature Games 2, 3, 4 and 5 (should the series extend that far) of the Eastern Conference Final on the mornings of Friday 18, Sunday 20, Tuesday 22 and Thursday 24 September respectively – all the games are scheduled to be broadcast from 02:30 LIVE on ESPN 2.

The Eastern Conference Final sees the Miami Heat take on the Boston Celtics for a place in the NBA Championship Final against either the LA Lakers or one of the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets (whose semifinal series is tied at 3-3 ahead of their decider on Wednesday morning) for the Western Conference Final.

The Miami Heat will be appearing in a Conference Final for the first time since 2014, with one of the key players in their run being Jimmy Butler. The 30-year-old insists that his team’s best basketball is yet to show itself in ‘the bubble’.

“I don’t think we’ve played a full 48-minute game yet. And that’s what’s promising,” explained Butler. “When we do lock in and decide to play from start to finish, I think the game would be a lot easier. I don’t think it’s happened yet, but we have to next round.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra adds that his charges should reflect on a great journey thus far: “I want our guys to just step back at least for a night, if not two nights, and just reflect,” Spoelstra said.

“It’s not easy to get to the conference finals, and our organisation knows that. We’ve been trying desperately to get back to the conference finals. It’s not our ultimate goal – we get it – but you can still acknowledge the journey, how hard it is to this point.”

The Celtics, meanwhile, came through a thrilling Conference Semifinal series, dethroning the 2019 NBA champions, the Toronto Raptors, 4-3. Former Celtics power forward Antoine Walker says he has been impressed by Brad Stevens’ side.

“The Celtics are doing much better than I thought,” explained Walker. “I thought that they were going to have problems; I didn’t know how healthy Kemba Walker was and I thought you know, he was not 100 percent and I’m not sure where he’s at but, he’s playing pretty good. They’ve played some terrific basketball.”

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ESPN 2 NBA Broadcast Details

Friday 18 September

02:30: Eastern Conference Final Game 2, Boston Celtic v Miami Heat – LIVE on ESPN 2

Sunday 20 September

02:30: Eastern Conference Final Game 3, Miami Heat v Boston Celtics – LIVE on ESPN 2

Tuesday 22 September

02:30: Eastern Conference Final Game 4, Miami Heat v Boston Celtics – LIVE on ESPN 2

Thursday 24 September

02:30: Eastern Conference Final Game 5, Boston Celtics v Miami Heat – LIVE on ESPN 2

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