CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers will have plenty of time to prepare for the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
With the first-round sweep of the Indiana Pacers being completed with a 106-102 win Sunday, the Cavaliers will wait until Monday, May 1 to host the winner of the Toronto Raptors-Milwaukee Bucks series in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Quicken Loans Arena.
Currently, the Raptors and Bucks are tied at 2-2 heading into tonight’s Game 5 matchup at Air Canada Centre.
“Rest is good,” Cavaliers reserve point guard Deron Williams said after Game 4. “Rest is good, especially because we’ve got some guys banged up here and there. I think that’s pretty common toward the end of the season and into the playoffs, so rest is going to help this team.
“Those guys that have been there, done that, I think every team that LeBron’s been on swept in the first round, so they’re definitely used to it. I’m not used to it. I’ve only gotten swept. This is definitely a different feeling.”
The Cavaliers know well what rest can do in the postseason.
Last season, the Cavaliers had eight days off between a first-round sweep of the Detroit Pistons and the start of the next series against the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, which they won in just four games.
Then, the Cavaliers had nine days off in-between the sweep of the Hawks and beginning of what turned out to be a six-game series against the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals. Also, they had a five-day break before the two-week Finals rematch with the Golden State Warriors.
“We have some good miles on this team, some guys that have played postseason action,” Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love said. “Just getting a good week will allow us to get some rest, but also, when we do find out who we play, be able to be sharp and be ready to go.”
Williams, shooting guard Kyle Korver and power forward Channing Frye combined to score 22 points in the second quarter and accounted for all four of the Cavaliers’ three-pointers in the first half in the close-out win over the Pacers.
Williams made both of his looks from three-point range, while Frye knocked one of his two attempts and Korver buried one of his three tries from long distance. Additionally, Williams got to the free-throw twice, sinking four of his five attempts.
Now, after a successful run through the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs, Williams is hoping to build up chemistry and cohesion during the rest period ahead of the second round.
“It’s great playing with that group,” Williams said. “We have good chemistry. On both ends of the floor, I think we play a good brand of basketball. Our tempo is up. Our pace is up, and I think when they’re missing shots or making shots and we’re pushing the ball out back at them, it’s tough to stop us.
“We just play with a good pace, good tempo. We move the ball around, play solid team defense. The main thing is the ball is just moving. We don’t get stagnant. There’s not a lot of one on ones going on. It’s just a great brand of basketball.”