Miami Heat had an unusually lengthy layoff between the first and the second-round of the playoffs, having seven days off. After dismantling the Chicago Bulls in five games, the NBA champions will now enjoy another six days of rest before it’s time for the Eastern Conference finals.
The Milwaukee Bucks first-round sweep was inevitable and while the Heat were quite rusty coming off a week’s worth of rest following the series, Miami looked a whole lot more fresh than Chicago, who went through a gruesome seven-game series.
Miami faces the same situation now, as the Eastern Conference finals are scheduled to start next Wednesday. Finding time to rest your players in the playoffs is very rare, so another layoff is an advantage. LeBron James got a little bit restless during the last seven-game gap, but on a positive note, Dwyane Wade had a chance to rest up his bruised knee.
Wade was great in the close-out game against the Bulls, but he is still nowhere near a hundred percent. Miami will continue to be cautious with Wade moving forward and another break will certainly benefit him.
The Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks are still battling it out against each other in their second-round matchup. With the Knicks winning Game 5, that series continues to drag out. A seven-game series is not out of the question, and if that was the case, Miami would have a serious advantage going into the Eastern Conference finals.
Vytis is a Miami Heat and NBA columnist for RantSports. You can follow him on Twitter here: @VytisLasaitis