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Mavericks Reach Second NBA Finals, Watch Heat Vs. Bulls Game 5 For Schedule

The Mavericks have clinched their second NBA Finals appearance with their 4-1 series win over the Thunder. They will now sit and watch the Bulls and Heat play Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. If the Heat win, the 2011 NBA Finals will start on May 31 in Miami. If the Bulls win, the Finals will begin on June 2 regardless of results in the rest of that series. Here are the two alternative schedules set by the NBA. Best of seven (2-3-2 format)

Game 1 -- Thu June 2, Dallas at Chicago/Miami 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 2 -- Sun June 5, Dallas at Chicago/Miami 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 3 -- Tue June 7, Chicago/Miami at Dallas 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 4 -- Thu June 9, Chicago/Miami at Dallas 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 5* -- Sun June 12, Chicago/Miami at Dallas 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 6* -- Tue June 14, Dallas at Chicago/Miami 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 7* -- Thu June 16, Dallas at Chicago/Miami 9 p.m. ET, ABC
*If necessary

If both Conference Finals series are completed in five (5) games or less, the NBA Finals will move up to begin on Tuesday, May 31.

Game 1 -- Tue May 31, Dallas at Chicago/Miami 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 2 -- Thu June 2, Dallas at Chicago/Miami 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 3 -- Sun June 5, Chicago/Miami at Dallas 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 4 -- Tue June 7, Chicago/Miami at Dallas 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 5* -- Thu June 9, Chicago/Miami at Dallas 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 6* -- Sun June 12, Dallas at Chicago/Miami 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 7* -- Tue June 14, Dallas at Chicago/Miami 9 p.m. ET, ABC
*If necessary

So we'll find out Thursday night when the Finals will come to Dallas, but we know now that it will be either June 5-9 or June 7-12.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.