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Golden State Warriors thankful for rest heading into NBA Finals

Published:

5:11 PM ET

  • Kendra AndrewsESPN

SAN FRANCISCO — The Golden State Warriors have the gift of time as they head into the NBA Finals.

After wrapping up their Western Conference finals series against the Dallas Mavericks in five games, the Warriors could have exactly one week of rest before Game 1 of the Finals, which suggestions off Thursday night.

“We gave our guys two straight days off, which is sort of unheard of, in playoffs and even just regular season,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Sunday afternoon. “So it was an ideal likelihood to decompress the last couple of days. We cannot have a proper practice until tomorrow. It’ll be the primary day we’ll construct on our opponent. So I’ve said it persistently: You go to the Finals, it’s almost a two-month journey full of stress and fatigue, so in the event you can construct slightly break, it’s totally meaningful.”

The Warriors took Friday and Saturday off before meeting at Chase Center on Sunday for treatment and lightweight workouts. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, they may hold regular practices.

“Having two days off and every week between after we play, everybody can get their mind right, focus, and get the body back where they need it to get to,” Kevon Looney said.

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But Looney pointed on the market are also some negatives that include such an extended layoff: “A few of the cons is you recognize, it’s stuff like game rhythm, game shape. You’ve to make sure that you are doing all of the stuff you normally do to remain sharp.”

Perhaps the most important pro from the Warriors’ longer break is the time it’s giving the team’s injured players to work their way back. Andre Iguodala (neck), Gary Payton II (elbow) and Otto Porter Jr. (foot) each missed all or a part of the Western Conference finals and could possibly be game-changing players within the Finals.

Each of them is progressing nicely, the team said Sunday, they usually are expected to be slowly integrated into team practices this week. As they rejoin group activity, the Warriors will get a greater sense of their availability for the Finals.

Regardless of whom the Warriors face — either the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat — Golden State will hold home-court advantage. The Warriors have a greater record than the Celtics, and have the identical record because the Heat, but won each regular-season games against Miami, giving them the tiebreaker. The Heat host the Celtics in Game 7 of the East finals Sunday night at 8:30 ET.

As soon because the Warriors beat the Heat in March, Kerr said he knew his team had just ensured themselves home court against any team within the Eastern Conference. Nevertheless it wasn’t something they were necessarily gunning for at that moment, just an added bonus for down the road.

“The previous 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 few tough stretches there. Fortunately, we had put a bunch of wins within the bank early that gave us a cushion that we would have liked,” Kerr said. “We were very conscious of hanging on to home court if in any respect possible, and we were in a position to finish strongly.”

Home court gives the Warriors one other gift in the shape of time: They do not have to even take into consideration getting on a plane for one more week. Game 3 is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8.

“To be in our beds for 11 days may be very helpful,” Kerr said.

“It is usually special to play at home,” Looney said. “With the ability to undergo your routine, sleep in your personal bed, and prepare at home and do things that you simply’re used to, it’s just rather a lot more comfortable. It’s rather a lot higher to get the jitters out at home, when the group goes for you.”

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