Following a sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks in their first-round playoff series, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra rewarded his team with a day off on Monday.
But even though Miami's next playoff series will not start until Saturday at the earliest, the Heat will be back to work on Tuesday, confident that time off before their next series will not be an issue.
"We're a veteran ballclub," LeBron James said Monday. "It definitely won't be a problem for me."
The Milwaukee series could not have gone better for the Heat. Miami won all four games by double digits, and they did not even need Dwyane Wade to finish off the sweep on Sunday. He sat out to rest bone bruises in his right knee, and is happy to get some extra rest before the next leg of the playoffs.
"It's big," he said. "Obviously, we're one of the oldest teams in the league, maybe the oldest team in terms of rotation players. Guys have some bumps and bruises coming out of this series, so it's going to be great to get some rest."
Could too much time off be a bad thing? The Heat say no. Even though they will not get any live game action, Heat players say they will keep themselves sharp.
"It will be tough, but we'll challenge each other and we'll push each other in practice," said Chris Bosh. "We have great professionals. We're not going to let each other slip. We're going to challenge each other, keep our conditioning up. When this next series starts I think we'll be ready."
Miami will play the winner of the Chicago-Brooklyn series. On Monday Brooklyn forced a Game 6 with a 110-91 win at home. If they win at Chicago on Thursday, they would force a Game 7 on Saturday, further delaying Miami's next series.
Regardless of the long layoff between games, the Heat have to feel confident at this stage in the playoffs. They are riding a 12-game winning streak, and James finished the Bucks series shooting 62% and averaging 24.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. But he knows his team's task is not done.
"We've got an opportunity to rest because we took care of business but our business is not done," James said. "The only thing we guaranteed ourselves is the next round. That's it."