NBA Conference Finals 2023: How to watch Heat vs. Celtics tonight



D.A. Varela/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The NBA playoffs are in full swing.  The conference finals began yesterday and will continue through May 29 if needed. Tonight is Game 1 of the Eastern Conference, where the Miami Heat take on the Boston Celtics at 8:30 p.m. EDT (5:30 p.m. PDT) on Wednesday, May 17. Tomorrow, the Los Angeles Lakers plays against the Denver Nuggets for Game 2 of the Western Conference. The Nuggets won Game 1 on May 16.

These NBA conference final games will determine which teams make it to the NBA playoff finals. Find out how to catch tonight’s game and see who might end up as NBA champions. You don’t even need a cable subscription — just Sling TV.

Best way to get access to ESPN live:

Sling TV Orange + Blue Tier (first month), $45 (reduced from $55)

Who’s playing in the 2023 NBA conference finals

With the NBA semifinals over, we’re down to the 2023 NBA conference finals. In the Western Conference semifinals, the Los Angeles Lakers, led by LeBron James, eliminated the Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets won against the Phoenix Suns. Last night’s game featured the first matchup between the Nuggets against the Lakers, with the Denver team leading 1-0.

Meanwhile in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers while the Miami Heat ousted the New York Knicks, so the Heat and the Celtics will take each other on in the NBA’s best-of-seven elimination tournament. If you want to record this game tonight, Sling TV offers 50 hours of DVR storage.

NBA conference final game schedule

Don’t miss a single moment of the NBA playoffs, starting with the conference finals tonight. The Western Conference games will all air on ESPN, with the exception of Game 3, which is airing on ABC. The Eastern Conference games will all be shown on TNT.

Don’t have cable TV? Luckily, Sling TV carries both TNT and ESPN so you can watch those games live. Many markets carry ABC as well.

Schedule for the 2023 Eastern Conference finals (No. 8 Miami Heat vs. No. 2 Boston Celtics)

  • Game 1: Wednesday, May 17 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on TNT
  • Game 2: Friday, May 19 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on TNT  
  • Game 3: Sunday, May 21 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on TNT
  • Game 4: Tuesday, May 23 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on TNT
  • *Game 5: Thursday, May 25 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on TNT
  • *Game 6: Saturday, May 27 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on TNT
  • *Game 7: Monday, May 29 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on TNT

Schedule for the 2023 Western Conference finals (No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers vs. No. 1 Denver Nuggets)

  • Game 2: Thursday, May 18 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN
  • Game 3: Saturday, May 20 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on ABC
  • Game 4: Monday May 22 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN
  • *Game 5: Wednesday, May 24 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN
  • *Game 6: Friday, May 26 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN
  • *Game 7: Sunday, May 28 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN

*These games will only be played if needed.

What about the rest of the playoffs?

The NBA final will begin on Sunday, June 1 at 8:30 p.m. EDT. When the conference finals are complete, all games of the NBA finals 2023 will be shown on ABC.

How can I watch the 2023 NBA conference finals?

2023 NBA Playoffs - Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets

Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

The best and most affordable way to watch the 2023 NBA playoff games airing on ESPN and TNT is through Sling TV. The most budget-friendly tier that includes ESPN, Orange, is only $40 a month. The Orange + Blue tier gives you access to the maximum amount of live sports, including not only ESPN but NFL Network, ABC, Fox and NBC broadcasts, for $55 per month. You’ll get 50 hours of DVR storage to record all the games you want.

There’s no contract. You can cancel at any time. Best of all? They’re offering the first month for $10 off. So you only need to pay $30 right now to get access to ESPN with Sling Orange, or $45 for the Orange + Blue tier.

Don’t have a smart TV to watch Sling TV on? Not a problem: Right now Sling TV is offering subscribers a free Amazon Fire TV Stick to use.

Sling TV Orange + Blue tier, $45 (reduced from $55) for your first month

Digital antenna



If you’re worried about being able to access the games that will be playing on ABC, like Game 3 of the Western Conference finals or the NBA finals, you can get a digital antenna to access your local TV stations, which will include ABC. While Sling TV does carry ABC in several of its large markets, the antenna will give you peace of mind so that you won’t have to miss a single game of the NBA playoffs.

This one supports smart TVs in 1080p, 4K and 8K displays and works with older models too. It’s also currently discounted at Amazon. Buy now and it will arrive before Game 3 between the Lakers and the Nuggets airs on ABC.

Roainey digital TV antenna with amplifier signal booster, $27 after coupon (down from $40)

Hulu + Live TV bundle

It’s not as affordable as Sling TV, but the Hulu + Live TV bundle has a huge library of content thanks to their partnerships with Disney and ESPN. In the bundle, both Disney+ and ESPN+ are included and it’s totally ad-free. If you want it all, get the Hulu + Live TV bundle.

Sign up for the Hulu + Live TV with ESPN+ and Disney+ bundle, $70 a month


FuboTV is a sports-centric streaming services that has live TV events for almost every sport imaginable, including international ones, plus over 100 other channels. Did we mention that they give you 1,000 hours of DVR space as well? Get a free seven-day trial by signing up here.

FuboTV, starting at $75 a month

DirecTV Stream

DirecTV streams all the networks a sports fan could want, including NBC, Fox, ESPN and more. No matter what your viewing needs are, DirecTV Stream should have a monthly package that will serve you. Prices on DirecTV Stream services start at $65 a month for the first three months, then $75 a month thereafter.

DirecTV Stream, $65 and up per month

The best TV deals ahead of the NBA playoffs 



Looking for a new television for all your sports watching needs? Watch the NBA playoffs on a smart TV. We’ve rounded up some great deals for the latest in high-quality TV technology.

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