Tuesday, May 31, 2022 10:10 AM | CBN
After the Golden State Warriors concluded their five-game Western Conference finals series against the Dallas Mavericks, the team will be granted precisely one week of rest preceding Game 1 of the Finals, which kicks off on Thursday evening.
"We gave our guys two straight days off, which is almost unheard of, in playoffs or even just regular season," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr on Sunday afternoon.
"So it was a great chance to decompress the last couple of days. We won't have a formal practice until tomorrow. It'll be the first day we'll build on our opponent.
“So I've said it many times: You go to the Finals, it's almost a two-month journey filled with stress and fatigue, so if you can build a little break, it's very meaningful."
The Warriors had taken off both Friday and Saturday prior to meeting at the Chase Center on Sunday, where they met for treatment and light workouts.
The team will hold regular practices on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
"Having two days off and a week between when we play, everybody can get their mind right, focus, and get the body back where they want it to get to," said Kevon Looney.
However, Looney was also sure to point out some of the less ideal consequences that come with such a lengthy layoff.
"Some of the cons is you know, it's stuff like game rhythm, game shape. You've got to make sure you're doing all the stuff you normally do to stay sharp."
But there’s a particular advantage to the Warriors’ break that trumps all else: and that’s the opportunity it’s giving the team’s injured players (Andre Iguodala - neck, Gary Payton II - elbow, and Otto Porter Jr. - foot) to ease back into things safely.
The team reported Sunday that each of the injured players are progressing well and expected to gradually be integrated back into team practices this week, where it will be easy to gauge whether they are ready for the Finals or not.
"The last few weeks of the season, we were struggling to the finish line with the injuries to Draymond [Green] and Steph [Curry] and we had a couple of tough stretches there. Fortunately, we had put a bunch of wins in the bank early that gave us a cushion that we needed," said Kerr.
"We were very conscious of hanging on to home court if at all possible, and we were able to finish strongly."
And another added element of comfort for the Warriors? The home court advantage - and no stress about getting on a plane or flying.
"It's always special to play at home," said Looney. "Being able to go through your routine, sleep in your own bed, and prepare at home and do things that you're used to, it's just a lot more comfortable. It's a lot better to get the jitters out at home, when the crowd is going for you."
Game 3 is on the schedule for Wednesday, June 8.