Warriors nine-day layoff before NBA Finals one of longest in NBA history

Dan Feldman
NBC Sports

The NBA Finals will begin May 30 – their earliest start in 33 years.

The Warriors will still have to wait a while to begin play.

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Golden State, which completed a sweep of the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals Monday, is in the midst of nine straight off days. That’s tied for the fourth-longest layoff during a postseason in NBA history:

The Warriors probably don’t mind the long break. Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and DeMarcus Cousins are battling injuries and can use the time to recover.

The big question: Is rest or rust more important?

Of the previous 10 teams with such long layoffs, seven won the ensuing Game 1 and seven won the ensuing series. But we’re dealing with varying levels of team quality, major differences in opponent rest and a small sample.

It seems clear rest matters more for a banged-up Golden State. But that doesn’t mean rust won’t be a challenge against the Bucks or Raptors.

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