In a season that has been everything but typical, the Miami Heat experienced yet another oddity during this postseason.
After defeating the Indiana Pacers in the first round, the Heat will have had a week off before facing the Milwaukee Bucks Monday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. They had an extended break because of the sweep of the Pacers and then the league canceled games last week in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisc.
"Well, we had a couple of really good days of work," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Nobody was in the mood to work Wednesday night or Thursday and that was the reason for this pause. We've been able to get in a couple days of work. Either way, our guys will be ready."
The benefit for the Heat is it provided opportunity for players to heal. Forward Jimmy Butler was dealing with shoulder soreness while forward Jae Crowder had a swollen ankle. Guard Goran Dragic, the oldest player in the rotation, also had time to rest after averaging 34 minutes in the first round.
Still, the Heat are unsure how the layoff will affect them.
"This is just a different environment, something I'll learn about shortly here," forward Andre Iguodala said. "It's really hard to give guys any inkling of what it's going to be like, whether it's three days off or a week. You just got to be ready ... There's no guarantees in anything. We're preparing for whatever happens."
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