Western Notes: Warriors, Finals, Wood, Grizzlies, Lakers

The Warriors are thankful to have plenty of rest ahead of the NBA Finals, Kendra Andrews of ESPN.com writes. By defeating Dallas in five games, the Warriors put themselves at a competitive advantage over the Celtics and Heat — who needed a Game 7 to decide their series on Sunday night.

“We gave our guys two straight days off, which is almost unheard of, in playoffs or even just regular season,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “So it was a great chance to decompress the last couple of days.

“We won’t have a formal practice until tomorrow. It’ll be the first day we’ll build on our opponent. So I’ve said it many times: You go to the Finals, it’s almost a two-month journey filled with stress and fatigue, so if you can build a little break, it’s very meaningful.”

Golden State is dealing with injuries to Gary Payton II, Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter Jr., but Payton and Iguodala will likely return in the Finals and Porter’s injury isn’t considered serious.

On the flip side, Miami is dealing with injuries to Kyle Lowry, Max Strus, Jimmy Butler, P.J. Tucker, Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent, while a pair of Boston starters – Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III – have missed time in the Finals due to various ailments.

There’s more from the West this evening:

  • The Rockets are continuing to receive trade interest for big man Christian Wood, Kelly Iko reports for The Athletic. Wood, 26, complements the Rockets well offensively, but the team may consider moving his contract and focusing on its younger core. He averaged 17.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game this season.
  • Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal examines 14 players to watch for the Grizzlies’ three draft picks next month. Memphis owns the 22nd, 29th and 47th selections in the event, which takes place on June 23.
  • New Lakers coach Darvin Ham is expected to have control over choosing his coaching staff, Marc Stein confirms in his latest article at Substack. Stein also reports that senior advisor Kurt Rambis will not be a regular presence in coaching meetings as he was under Frank Vogel‘s leadership.
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