It’s officially Stanley Cup and NBA finals month. With the championships tipping off tonight, these Florida teams have the chance to make history. We’ve compiled all the information in one place to lay out what you need to know about both the Heat and Panthers in the finals.
Game one gets underway tonight at 8:30 pm. The first two games are in Denver before the series heads to South Beach. This championship round will be broadcasted by ABC/ESPN. The full seven-game schedule is:
Game 1 – Thursday, June 1, 8:30 pm (Denver)
Game 2 – Sunday, June 4, 8 pm (Denver)
Game 3 – Wednesday, June 7, 8:30 pm (Miami)
Game 4 – Friday, June 9, 8:30 pm (Miami)
Game 5 – Monday, June 12, 8:30 pm (Denver)*
Game 6 – Thursday, June 15, 8:30 pm (Miami)*
Game 7 – Sunday, June 18, 8 pm (Denver)*
The Panthers have been off for a week now, after completing the sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes on May 24. In fact, they still have two more days off with the NHL finals not starting until Saturday. All games will be on TNT. The Panthers opponent, the Vegas Golden Knights, knocked off the Dallas Stars on Monday. Their full seven-game schedule is:
Game 1 – Saturday, June 3, 8 pm (Vegas)
Game 2 – Monday, June 5, 8 pm (Vegas)
Game 3 – Thursday, June 8, 8 pm (Florida)
Game 4 – Saturday, June 10, 8 pm (Florida)
Game 5 – Tuesday, June 13, 8 pm (Vegas)*
Game 6 – Friday, June 16, 8:30 pm (Florida)*
Game 7 – Monday, June 19, 8 pm (Vegas)*
What Else To Know
The Heat and Panthers will not play at home in the Sunshine State on the same night. However, there will be four championship games in a row hosted in South Florida. June 7-10 has games three and four, respectively. Then, if needed, June 15 and 16 for back-to-back game 6’s.
The NBA Finals contains a number 8 seed in the Heat going against a number 1 in the Denver Nuggets. Furthermore, Denver had the best record in the Western Conference this season at 53-29. It would be their first NBA crown, while the Heat has won three rings. One in the Shaq era (2006), and two in the Lebron James / Dwyane Wade era (2012, 2013).
In addition, the NHL finals will result in a first-time Stanley Cup winner regardless of who wins. The Panthers lost in the finals to the Colorado Avalanche in the 1995-1996 season. Similarly, the Vegas Golden Knights lost the championship to the Capitals in the 2017-2018. Therefore, it is the second appearance for both franchises.
If both the Heat and Panthers win it all, it will be the first time the NBA and NHL winners are from the same area. Certainly, there’s a chance South Florida will be the site of two parades this month. The excitement starts tonight, with both the Heat and Panthers in the finals.