ESPN and ABC's comprehensive 2012 NBA Playoffs coverage - up to 44 games, including The Finals exclusively on ABC - will begin with five games this weekend. ABC's game coverage will begin today, April 28, when the Miami Heat and their superstar trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh host the New York Knicks - led by Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire - at 3:30 p.m. ET. ABC's coverage will continue on Sunday, April 29, when the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant host the Denver Nuggets and Ty Lawson at 3:30 p.m. Mike Breen will provide commentary for both broadcasts with analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Lisa Salters.
ESPN will televise a primetime doubleheader on Saturday, April 28 - Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers at 7 p.m. with Dave Pasch, Chris Mullin and reporter Holly Rowe providing commentary; defending World Champion Dallas Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki at the Oklahoma City Thunder and scoring champion Kevin Durant at 9:30 p.m. with Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown and reporter Heather Cox calling the game.
ESPN's coverage of the NBA Playoffs follows a regular season that delivered a 7 percent ratings increase on ESPN (Christmas to date) and a 10 percent ratings increase on ABC, according to Nielsen. More details below.
The Kia NBA Countdown pregame show will preview both ABC broadcasts this weekend at 3 p.m. and include commentary from analysts Magic Johnson, Jon Barry, Michael Wilbon and Chris Broussard.
All ESPN games will also be available on ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV and via the WatchESPN app. The Finals on ABC are scheduled to begin June 12. Additionally, ESPN2 will televise a special one-hour NBA Playoffs Preview on Saturday April 28, at 1 a.m, 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.
NBA Playoffs opening weekend schedule:
Date Time (ET) Game Commentators Network
Sat, Apr 28
3 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown Magic Johnson, Jon Barry, Michael Wilbon, Chris Broussard ABC
3:30 p.m. New York Knicks at Miami Heat Gm. 1 Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Lisa Salters ESPN Radio: Jim Durham, Dr. Jack Ramsay ABC, ESPN Radio
7 p.m. Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers Gm. 1 Dave Pasch, Chris Mullin, Holly Rowe ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
9:30 p.m. Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder Gm. 1 Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Heather Cox ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
Sun, Apr 29
1 p.m. Utah Jazz at San Antonio Spurts Gm. 1 Mark Jones, Doris Burke, Ric Bucher ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
3 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown Johnson, Barry, Wilbon, Broussard ABC
3:30 p.m. Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers Gm. 1 Breen, Van Gundy, Salters ESPN Radio: Kevin Calabro, Dr. Jack Ramsay ABC, ESPN Radio
NBA Playoffs schedule for May 4-6 (commentators TBD):
Date Time (ET) Game Network
Fri, May 4
7:30 p.m. Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks Gm. 3 ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
8 p.m. Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers Gm. 3 ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
10:30 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets Gm. 3 ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
Sat, May 5
2 p.m. Indiana Pacers at Orlando Magic Gm. 4 ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
4:30 p.m. Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Clippers Gm. 4 ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
Sun, May 6 12:30 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown ABC
1 p.m. Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers Gm. 4 ABC, ESPN Radio
3:30 p.m. Miami Heat at New York Knicks Gm. 4 ABC, ESPN Radio
NBA on ESPN Radio
The NBA on ESPN Radio will begin its 17th season of NBA Playoffs coverage on Saturday, April 28, and will present exclusive national broadcasts for select first and second round games and every game of the Conference Finals and The Finals. Commentators Jim Durham, Hall-of-Famer Dr. Jack Ramsay, Kevin Calabro and Will Purdue will contribute to the broadcasts during the first two rounds. Durham and Ramsay will then call the Eastern Conference Finals while Calabro and Hubie Brown will call the Western Conference Finals. During The Finals on ABC, Durham, Ramsay and Brown will describe the action, while Ric Bucher will be courtside reporter with Marc Kestecher and Will Perdue serving as on-site studio host and analyst.