MILWAUKEE (AP) – The NBA playoffs’ scheduling anomalies resulted in three-day-long breaks between games in the Boston-Milwaukee and Memphis-Golden State series.
In this scenario, the teams seem unconcerned about the delays. They’ve utilized the time off to stay in shape and cope with roster changes that came up unexpectedly.
“It’s advantageous in a variety of ways,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka remarked.
Both series are deadlocked going into Saturday’s Game 3s in Milwaukee and San Francisco. The last time these four teams played was on Tuesday.
NBA teams are seldom given such lengthy layoffs. Aside from the All-Star break, the Grizzlies had three free days between games just once throughout the regular season.
Coach Mike Budenholzer of the Milwaukee Bucks claimed he would have liked two days between games rather than three. However, he believed that having time for a mental break in the middle of a complex series would assist the players.
“There are obvious benefits,” said Bucks center Brook Lopez. “It is beneficial to recuperate. It’s useful because you can review the tape, go through what the other team is doing and what you’re doing, and learn a lot. But we’re all ready to go out there and play. Perhaps it’s because we lost the previous game, but we’re eager to go back there.”
The prolonged pause allowed players to recover.
According to Ukoda, Marcus Smart, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, is set to participate on Saturday after missing Game 2 due to a strained right thigh. Memphis center Steven Adams has cleared health and safety criteria and is likely to play on Saturday after missing the first two games against the Warriors.
“I’m thrilled Steve-back,” O’s said Grizzlies guard Jaren Jackson. “He looks fantastic.”
Bucks forward Khris Middleton will play at least the next two games with the left medial collateral ligament tear, but the longer that line lasts, the more likely he will play in this round.
The Grizzlies and Warriors also became acclimated to playing without players who will be absent when the series begins.
Gary Payton II
Gary Payton II of Golden State is out indefinitely with a fractured left elbow after absorbing a flagrant foul from Memphis’ Dillon Brooks, who was suspended for one game.
“Having some time at home to get some rest, get some good practices in, and concentrate on the game plan will always be important for us,” Warriors center Kevon Looney said. “We have an experienced squad. And it’s allowed us to make some changes and figure out and learn from our recent defeat.”
They like having that additional time, even if it is unusual.
“I’ve played in playoffs when we were playing every other day,” Boston Celtics forward Al Horford said. “And when that happens, you start thinking and hoping, ‘Man, I hope we have another day.'” The question in this scenario is, ‘When are we going to play again?’ At the end of the day, this is how things stand. This is how the system works. We must make certain that we are always prepared.”