Who is playing in the 2023 NBA Finals and when does it start? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The 2023 NBA Finals are in, and it features a historic matchup.
For the second time in NBA history, a No. 8 seed will play for the championship. The eighth-seeded Miami Heat continued their incredible playoff run by defeating the No. 2 Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Heat entered the Play-In Tournament as the No. 7 seed after a 44-38 regular season. They lost to the No. 8 Hawks and then needed a late rally to beat the No. 10 Chicago Bulls and clinch a playoff spot.
But ever since their season was almost over, Miami has looked like a completely different team. They defeated the No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks in five games before dispatching the No. 5 New York Knicks in six. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Heat nearly became the first team in NBA history to blow a 3-0 playoff series lead before pulling out a Game 7 victory in Boston.
If Jimmy Butler and company want to become the first No. 8 seed to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy, they will need to defeat another No. 1 seed. The Denver Nuggets are in the Finals for the first time in NBA history after complete a sweep in the Western Conference Finals.
A historic postseason run by two-time MVP Nikola Jokic propelled Denver past the No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves in five games and the No. 4 Phoenix Suns in six. Jokic and company then outplayed LeBron James and the number 7 Los Angeles Lakers in four games.
So will it be the first title for Denver or the first for a No. 8 seed? Here’s what you should know about the matchup.
Who has home field advantage in the 2023 NBA Finals?
The Nuggets have home field advantage in the Finals due to their superior record in the regular season.
What is the format of the NBA Finals?
The Finals follow the same 2-2-1-1-1 format as the rest of the postseason, with the highest seed getting home court in Games 1, 2, 5 and 7.
When do the 2023 NBA Finals start?
Heat-Nuggets Game 1 is scheduled for Thursday, June 1.
What is the 2023 NBA Finals schedule?
Here’s a look at the full Finals schedule, with all games airing on ABC:
- Game 1: Heat at Nuggets – Thursday, June 1, 8:30 pm ET
- Game 2: Heat at Nuggets – Sunday, June 4, 8 pm ET
- Game 3: Nuggets at Heat – Wednesday, June 7, 8:30 p.m. ET
- Game 4: Nuggets on Heat – Friday, June 9, 8:30 p.m. ET
- Game 5 (if necessary): Heat at Nuggets – Monday, June 12, 8:30 p.m. ET
- Game 6 (if necessary): Nuggets at Heat – Thursday, June 15, 8:30 p.m. ET
- Game 7 (if necessary): Heat at Nuggets – Sunday, June 18, 8 p.m. ET
How many NBA Finals appearances do the Denver Nuggets have?
This is Denver’s first appearance in the NBA Finals.
How many NBA Finals appearances does the Miami Heat have?
This is Miami’s seventh Finals appearance and first since 2020.
How many NBA titles have the Denver Nuggets won?
The Nuggets have never won an NBA championship.
How many NBA titles have the Miami Heat won?
The Heat have a 3-3 record in the Finals, winning in 2006, 2012 and 2013.