LeBron James has put an entire team of spineless pea-hearts on his ever-burdened back to drag the Cleveland Cavaliers to this year's NBA Finals where the universe-controlling Golden State Warriors and their Monstars-like starting line-up wait. The first ball is tossed in the air for the NBA Finals 2017-18 on Friday morning, Australian time - and here's just how you can watch live, online and even for free!
How Did We Get To This Point?
We had both the East and West Conference Finals go to 7 Games, which hasn't happened since 1979 when the competition looked markedly different. To see both Conference Finals series come down to the wire has been a treat for NBA neutrals and no doubt resulted in a few clenched fists, thrown phones and hours of seething at the umpires (based on personal experience).
The Cleveland Cavaliers struggled against the Pacers in their first round match up, clipping 'em 4-3, before getting the broom out and dispatching the Raptors shortly after. In their Conference Final, they had to win on the road, in Boston, in Game 7. The deck wasn't just stacked - it had basically tipped over on top of them - but another inspired Game 7 performance from perhaps the best Basketballer of all time in LeBron James saw them edge the Celtics out.
On the other side of the US, the Golden State Warriors have been building their dynasty over a number of years. No one will soon forget when LeBron lead the Cavs to three wins in a row, to steal victory a couple of years ago - and not many will forget their recent dominance in Finals series either. Their run to the Finals was slightly easier in the stacked Western Conference with 4-1 wins over my Spurs (*tears*) and a surprisingly resilient New Orleans Pelicans.
Now, we're here.
The Greatest There Is vs A Team Of Greats.
When Are The 2017-18 NBA Finals?
The Finals, like all NBA playoffs, are a Best-of-7 scenario: 2 games Home, 2 Away, then 1-1-1. In this series, the Warriors have the advantage because of their winning record in the Regular Season. The first team to race out to 4 wins clinches the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Game 1 takes place on Thursday at 9pm EST, in the US, which translates to 11am Friday, June 1 AEST.
The full NBA Finals Schedule is here - with all seven games, should they need them. Note: All times are in AEST:
- Cavaliers @ Warriors - 11am June 1
- Cavaliers @ Warriors - 10am June 4
- Warriors @ Cavaliers - 11am June 7
- Warriors @ Cavaliers - 11am June 9
- Cavaliers @ Warriors - 11am June 12
- Warriors @ Cavaliers - 11am June 15
- Cavaliers @ Warriors - 10am June 18
You can also check that finals schedule here, though the times are in EST.
How To Watch The NBA Finals 2018
Sadly, no free to air channels carry the NBA Finals in Australia, so if you want to tune in, you're going to have to go online or head to your local pub. We're here to tell you how and what to do online. There's a few ways you can do that.
The cheapest option is Free in theory and as long as you haven't already signed up for it before. You can tune into the NBA Finals on ESPN, which is included in the Sports Package on Foxtel Now. That's how I tune in and the quality is pretty good, with no dropouts. This will give you access to the Finals for free — as long as it doesn't go longer than six games. If it does, you will be slugged $39 to watch Game 7. An interesting proposition, but considering the way the season has gone, a Game 7 does seem pretty unlikely.
The second option would be to sign up for NBA League Pass at the discounted Finals rate. Interestingly enough, that's also $39.99 to get the entire Final series, access to replays and Summer content too (as in, off-season access before next year). That might be the better option if it does head to a Game 7, but again... play the odds, man. You can sign up for League Pass here.
I'd say your best bet would be to go with the Foxtel Now option unless you absolutely think it will be headed into a Game 7. Even then, using the free Foxtel trial and then catching the final game at a pub might be a professional money-saving move.
I can't believe I am going to say this but... Go Cavs.