ABC, NBC and TNT run NBA and NHL playoffs today including 2 game 7s

Networks and leagues get down to the nitty-gritty; NHL conference finals have embarked, the NBA's start this week; See schedule and notes


The last spots for the NBA conference finals will be determined today when two game sevens will be played, one will be on ABC Television, Portland at Denver and the other on TNT, Philadelphia at Toronto.

Meanwhile, the NHL semis continue today when Boston hosts Carolina with the Bruins up 1-0.

The schedules are just below.

NBA broadcast notes:

  • When the injury riddled Warriors, the two time defending champs, stunned the Rockets in Houston on Friday night, ESPN analyst Mark Jackson’s summary was spot-on. He referenced the the well known line of former Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich. It was 1995 and the Rockets had just won the second of their back-to-back championships. Rudy told the ecstatic Houston crowd and a national television audience, “Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion.”  Ditto for the Warriors, (ironically in Houston). Jackson speaks from a perspective of emotions, on-court experience and as a motivator from his days coaching.
  • In the TNT studio, after Jared Greenberg filed a report from Milwaukee, Kenny Smith referred to him as “Half man, half-makeup.”
  • TNT’s wonderfully talented Ernie Johnson suggested that Warriors coach Steve Kerr wash his mouth out with soap after swearing on-air in the post-game news conference following Golden State’s heart-pumping win over the Rockets in game five.
  • When I hear announcers say “off of Philadelphia or off of Denver,” I’m reminded of being summoned by the late Bob Sheppard when he saw me in the press room at St. John’s. The iconic Yankees public address announcer said to me, “I heard you on the radio say, ‘It’s off of St. John’s.’ It’s not off of, it’s off St. John’s.’” Sheppard who taught at the college was a strict grammarian.
  • When I asked Reggie Miller about getting ready to broadcast an NCAA versus an NBA game, he said that the college game stimulates him to find human-interest angles on key players. Viewers might be familiar with NBA personnel. But fans don’t know the college athletes, “College is a showcase,” he says. “You want the audience to get to know the players.”
  • TNT’s Kristen Ledlow asked Brad Stevens a lengthy question about his strategy in one of those forced between period interviews. After she spit it out, Stevens answered in four words, “Win the next possession.” When Kristen turned it back to Marv at the table, he deadpanned, “Brad was to the point!” May I add that Kristen talks too fast and she herself has to economize her reports. One of her filings from the sideline sounded more like a speech than a succinct report. Two or three plays transpired while Kristen chattered away.
  • When Chris Webber needled Marv Albert about Dr. J who happened to be in the stands, Marv said the only game at which he’d have a chance against Dr. J is ping-pong.

NHL Notes

  • Brendan Burke was seen on the NBC family of stations covering the first round of the Stanley Cup. He’s also the television voice of the New York Islanders. The broadcaster Brendan is not to be confused with Brendan Burke who was an athlete for Miami of Ohio and came out. In 2009, he announced that he’s gay and advocated for tolerance. His dad, Brian Burke was the former general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The younger Burke was killed in a car crash in 2010 at age 21.
  • During the NHL strike year in 1994-95, Eddie Olczyk worked at the Meadowlands and learned horse racing. When Eddie established his credentials as a hockey commentator, he asked NBC for the opportunity to work as a broadcaster in its Triple Crown coverage. Before NBC did so, it sent him to Santa Anita to get some reps. Olyczyk is now a regular on NBC’s Triple Crown coverage and a key analyst on the network’s NHL broadcasts. In a recent interview, Olczyk said that serving as an analyst for the highly regarded Doc Emrick is a “tough chair to sit in.”
  • You might have noticed that NBC has its studio guys standing, like Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison do on the network’s Sunday Night Football programming. It’s different for the most part from ESPN, CBS, Fox or ABC, when those networks air pre and post game shows from the studio.


TODAY, Sunday, May 12, 2019 


Portland @ Denver, 3:30 PM, ABC, Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson

Philadelphia @ Toronto, 7:00 PM, TNT, Kevin Harlan, Greg Anthony


Carolina @ Boston, 3PM,  NBC, Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher


NBA Eastern Conference Finals:

All broadcasts will be called by Marv Albert, Chris Webber and Reggie Miller:


Wed   5/15   8:30 PM      1     Toronto @ Milwaukee              TNT

Fri      5/17   8:30 PM      2     Toronto @ Milwaukee              TNT

Sun    5/19   7:00 PM      3     Milwaukee @ Toronto              TNT

Tue    5/21   8:30 PM      4     Milwaukee @ Toronto              TNT

Thu    5/23   8:30 PM      5*  Toronto@ Milwaukee                TNT

Sat     5/25   8:30 PM      6*   Milwaukee@ Toronto               TNT

Mon   5/27   8:30 PM      7*  Toronto @ Milwaukee               TNT


NBA Western Conference Finals:

All broadcasts will be called by Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson


Tue      5/14    9:00 PM   1       Portland @ Golden State                    ESPN

Thu      5/16    9:00 PM   2      Portland  @ Golden State                   ESPN

Sat       5/18    9:00 PM   3       Golden State @ Portland                    ESPN

Mon     5/20    9:00 PM   4       Golden State @ Portland                   ESPN

Wed    5/22  9:00 PM     2        Portland  @ Golden State                  ESPN

Fri        5/24    9:00 PM   6*     Golden State @ Portland                   ESPN

Sun      5/26    9:00 PM   7*     Portland @ Golden State                    ESPN


NHL Eastern Conference Finals (remaining  schedule):

Sunday, May 12, 3 p.m.: Hurricanes @ Bruins | NBC, Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher

Tuesday, May 14, 8 p.m.: Bruins @ Hurricanes | NBCSN, Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk,Brian Boucher

Thursday, May 16, 8 p.m.: Bruins @ Hurricanes | NBCSN Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk,Brian Boucher

*Saturday, May 18, 7:15 p.m.: Hurricanes @ Bruins | NBC Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk,Brian Boucher

*Monday, May 20, 8 p.m.: Bruins @ Hurricanes | NBCSN, Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk,Brian Boucher

*Wednesday, May 22, 8 p.m.: Hurricanes @ Bruins | NBCSN, Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher

NHL Western Conference Finals (remaining  schedule):

Monday, May 13, 9 p.m.: Blues @ Sharks | NBCSN, Kenny Albert, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire

Wednesday, May 15, 8 p.m.: Sharks @ Blues | NBCSN, Kenny Albert, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire

Friday, May 17, 8 p.m.: Sharks @ Blues | NBCSN, Kenny Albert, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire

*Sunday, May 19, 3 p.m.: Blues @ Sharks | NBC, Kenny Albert, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire

*Tuesday, May 21, 8 p.m.: Sharks @ Blues | NBCSN, Kenny Albert, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire

*Thursday, May 23, 9 p.m.: Blues @ Sharks | NBC, Kenny Albert, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire

*If Necessary


David J. Halberstam

David is a 40-year + industry veteran who served as play-by-play announcer for St. John's University basketball in New York and as radio play-by-play voice of the Miami Heat in South Florida. He is the author of Sports on New York Radio: A Play-by-Play History and The Fundamentals of Sports Media and Sponsorship Sales: Developing New Accounts.

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Michael Green
4 years ago

Sometimes I think sideline reporters are absolutely wonderful. Sometimes I think they are totally useless. The thing that most annoys me is when the sideline reporter tells me something that, if the play-by-play announcer didn’t already know it through preparation and could have said it, said pbp announcer should be fired.