Golden State and Cleveland didn’t needed any extra help in trying to reach a third-consecutive NBA Finals appearance, but just in case they did, the basketball Gods have afforded them every luxury and break imaginable.
By the time the Conference Finals matchups are settled, the Cavs, who swept Toronto out of the playoffs on Sunday night with a 109-102 win, and Golden State, who will probably finish off a sweep of Utah tonight, will be well rested and anxious to get at each other in some real competition.
While Washington and Boston’s Eastern Conference semifinals series and Houston and San Antonio’s Western Conference series appears to be going seven games with both tied at 2-2, Golden State and Cleveland will have a long rest and relaxation period of over a week.
When the smoke clears, the other teams vying for a conference finals appearance will be battered and bruised from hotly-contested, exhausting and long playoff battles. That automatically benefits Golden State and Cleveland, who already have a habit of beating teams into psychological submission.
Boston and Washington don’t even play Game 5 until Wednesday. It’s scary to think of what kind of weird science game plan and approach Kyrie Irving, King James and Tyronn Lue will produce with all of that free time on their hands. That's also more rest for the Warriors' Kevin Durant who is coming off of a 38-point, 13-rebound Game 3 explosion, which can't be a good sign for opposing defenses.
If Golden State wasn’t loaded and Cleveland was another team, with another leader, then maybe complacency would be their biggest challenge, as neither team has lost a game in two playoff series.
Before the season, most hoop heads picked the two Super Teams to meet in an NBA Finals rubber match sort of speak, as they have split titles over the past two seasons. Nothing has occurred for us to believe otherwise. Boston has shown great resilience and been driven by the historic play of Isaiah Thomas, but they are already two tough series in and by the time they meet Cleveland -- if they get past the surging Wizards--they will have played a bunch of playoff games.
Houston and San Antonio are involved in an old-fashion seesaw battle. After winning Game 1 and then dropping two straight, Houston rebounded on Sunday night with a 125-104 shellacking of the Spurs. This series is looking very evenly matched and home court advantage will probably be the deciding factor.
With Golden State and Cleveland off the grid for a while, fans will get to see NBA action like it used to be, with teams throwing blows back and forth over a max-game series.
Fans will also get to see “other” superstars like Kawhi Leonard and John Wall and I.T. get the NBA playoff stage all to themselves for a few more days, until they become the next victims of the NBA’s two Super Teams, designed and destined to meet in another star-studded, All-NBA infested showdown.