The 2021 NBA Finals are ready to tipoff with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns set to begin a best-of-seven series on Tuesday, July 6. The NBA Finals add to the slate of marquee sporting events going on right now, joining the Euros, the Stanley Cup Finals, Wimbledon and soon the MLB All-Star Game and the British Open golf tournament.
The Milwaukee Bucks, who are led by former league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, arrive at the NBA Finals after having beat the Miami Heat, the Brooklyn Nets and the Atlanta Hawks, and it is their first final appearance since the 1970s; they won the title in 1971. Heading into the series, Antetokounmpo is dealing with a knee injury that may cause him to miss some games, so Kris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday could be forced to shoulder the load for a few games.
The Phoenix Suns’ path to the NBA Finals saw them beat Lebron James’ defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers. Future Hall-of-Famer Chris Paul, in his first year with the Suns, has added the veteran presence alongside young stars Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges to help the team reach the Finals. It is the third time the Suns have appeared in the NBA Finals, the last being in 1993, but they have never won a championship.
Another interesting tidbit for this year’s NBA Finals is that it is the first time in 10 years that either Lebron James or Steph Curry did not make it to the final round.
Now that you’ve gotten a primer on the series, here’s how you can watch the Bucks vs. Suns in the 2021 NBA Finals.
How to watch the 2021 NBA Finals in the U.S.
After ESPN and TNT have been splitting the broadcast of the NBA Playoffs thus far, the NBA Finals will have a single broadcast home on ABC, taking over from its Disney-owned sister network ESPN. Here is the game schedule for the NBA Finals:
July 6 — Game 1, Bucks 105 at Suns 118
July 8 — Game 2, Bucks 108 at Suns 118
July 11 — Game 3, Suns 100 at Bucks 120
July 14 — Game 4, Suns 103 at Bucks 109
July 17 — Game 5, Bucks at Suns, 9 p.m. ET; ABC
July 20 — Game 6, Suns at Bucks, 9 p.m. ET; ABC
July 22 — Game 7*, Bucks at Suns, 9 p.m. ET; ABC
* denotes “if necessary”
In addition to the traditional broadcast, there will be a simulcast available on ESPN 3.
If you have cut the cord on a cable package, the NBA Finals can be streamed via virtual MVPD services like YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, FuboTV and Sling TV (Sling will carry the ESPN 3 simulcast as it does not have ABC).
How to watch the 2021 NBA Finals internationally
NBA fans in the U.K. and Canada will have multiple ways to watch the NBA Finals this year. For U.K. fans, Sky Sports is carrying live streams of the games on both Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Arena. Canada, meanwhile, will air the games on The Sports Network. Both countries will also have the ability to watch the NBA Finals through NBA League Pass.
If you’re not in the U.K. and Canada, another option to make sure that you are able to watch the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns square off is by using a VPN (virtual private network). A VPN routes the network traffic to and from your computer through a specific set of servers in a specific country, allowing for users to watch content on an encrypted feed.
ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) is one of the easiest and affordable ways to watch what you want from anywhere you want to watch it. Plus it'll help keep your network traffic away from any prying eyes on public networks.
And it's a great way to keep up with all of the action of the NBA Finals from anywhere in the world.
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Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).
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