It’s not a matter of it, but when, the Golden State Warriors will punch their ticket to the 2021-22 NBA Finals.
After all, teams that held a 3-0 lead in a playoff series, as the Warriors currently have against the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals, are 146-0 in NBA history.
But when it does, Golden State still will have to wait.
The Warriors will have to wait to see whether it’s the Boston Celtics or the Miami Heat who emerge from the Eastern Conference finals. And then Golden State will have to wait (and maybe wait some more) with Game 1 of the NBA Finals scheduled to start June 2 — nine days after Tuesday’s Game 4 between the Warriors and Mavericks.
While Steph Curry and the Warriors have dismantled the Mavericks out West, the East has featured two teams in a best-of-seven slap fight. It’s featured head-scratching runs with no rhyme or reason — teams vastly changing from one quarter to the next — and injuries aplenty. Celtics stars like Robert Williams, Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum have been hindered while Heat starters like Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler along with Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro have been impacted, as well. And that’s not even the full injury report for either squad.
What an advantageous position the Warriors are in.
“It’s very important,” Klay Thompson told reporters about the extra rest, per CBS Sports.
Golden State could very well earn a sweep of Luka Doncic and the Mavs on Tuesday. It would mean the group not only has nine days rest until it takes the floor in the title series, but also would mean they have at least three days more rest than their opponent. Celtics-Heat, at the very least, will feature Game 6 in Boston on Friday night. If it’s not decided in six, Game 7 is scheduled for Sunday in Miami.
The Warriors already had four days off before facing the Mavericks after a six-game semifinal series. Golden State, like both Boston and Miami, played 11 games in the lead up to the conference finals. But if the Western Conference champions are able to close it out in four while drinking cucumber water as the Eastern Conference champions play a vicious seven-game series, the benefits are rather clear.