The Denver Nuggets (12-3 in the NBA playoffs this year) are concerned about losing momentum as they are heading into their first-ever NBA Finals appearance.
The reason is that following their sweep over the LA Lakers in the Western Conference Finals (4-0), the Nuggets will have nine days to rest before the start of the NBA Finals on June 1st.
“It’s impossible to keep your rhythm if you’re not playing games,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “You can do whatever you want in practice, but there’s no way you can replicate playing in an NBA playoff game.”
The Nuggets celebrated sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers on the plane ride home. It bought them a day off Tuesday and an optional day Wednesday. On Thursday, there were conditioning drills and individual drills before reassembling on the practice floor Friday.
“Right now, as I told our players, this is about us,” coach Malone, who called out media for not giving enough credit to his team, added. “We have to shore up who we are and address the areas that we have not been maybe good enough or areas that we can clean up.”
The intensity will pick up closer to the start of the series Thursday — and once they know who they’re facing (the Heat lead the series with the Celtics 3-2 and Game 6 takes place in Miami on Saturday).