When the Lakers lost Game 1 of the first round against the Trail Blazers, pundits rushed to call them frauds bound for an early playoff exit. When they lost Game 1 against the Rockets, a similar narrative emerged.
They won the next four games in each of those series.
There should be few doubts now about LA’s legitimacy after its comfortable Western Conference finals triumph over the Nuggets set up a matchup with the Heat in the 2020 NBA Finals. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are clearly qualified to carry an otherwise thin roster to the heights expected of them. They enter the Finals as heavy favorites.
That doesn’t mean Miami can’t upend the Lakers. It does mean the Heat, led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, must continue to play at a level far above what they showed during the regular season in order to be competitive.
MORE: Watch the NBA Finals live with fuboTV (7-day trial)
Heat fans have enjoyed Adebayo’s high-level play at both ends of the floor throughout the 2019-20 campaign, but his production has been an exhilarating surprise for casual NBA viewers seeing him for the first time this month. The same can be said for Heat guard Tyler Herro, who is averaging 16.5 points per game during the playoffs on 37.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
For all of the skills Butler possesses, it’s the deep cast around him that transformed Miami into a title contender. As Adebayo, Herro and Duncan Robinson progressed this year, and the Heat acquired veterans Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder at the trade deadline, the team evolved from mid-tier Eastern Conference squad to the monster it is entering the Finals.
Here is a complete guide to watching Lakers vs. Heat in Game 1 of the 2020 NBA Finals, including the start time, how to live stream and a full TV schedule for the series.
What channel is Lakers vs. Heat on?
Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Lakers and Heat tips off Tuesday night on ABC. There are several streaming options for people on the go unable to access cable TV, including WatchESPN and fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.
What time does Lakers vs. Heat start?
The NBA Finals will start at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept 30 from the bubble in Orlando. As has been the case throughout the playoffs, there will not be any fans in attendance outside of select guests of players.
This is the first time Los Angeles and Miami — two of the more vibrant U.S. markets — meet in the NBA Finals. The 9 p.m. ET start time is meant to appeal to viewers on either coast.
How to live stream NBA Finals games
It’s easy for cable subscribers to stream the NBA Finals by signing into WatchESPN on any device, but for everyone else, the process is slightly more complicated.
There are several OTT TV streaming options that carry ABC, including fuboTV, Sling, Hulu, YouTubeTV and AT&T Now. They all require sign-ups through their websites. Of those services, fuboTV, Hulu and YouTubeTV offer free trial options.
Below are links to each live streaming option for Game 1 of Lakers vs. Heat.
NBA Finals schedule 2020
Below are the dates, times and TV channels for every NBA Finals game between the Lakers and Heat.
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