June 3, 2017 / 12:33 AM / 2 months ago

NBA: Cavs' Love eager to avenge loss but sees benefit of extra rest

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Jun 1, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) reaches for the ball against the Golden State Warriors in the first half of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

OAKLAND, California (Reuters) - Cleveland Cavaliers' forward Kevin Love said he is eager to avenge his team's blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game One of the NBA Finals but also sees the upside of having two days off prior to the next meeting on Sunday.

The Warriors took a 1-0 games lead in the best-of-seven series on Thursday after cruising to a 113-91 win in Oakland.

"The game playing in the fashion that it did... you want to get out there right away," Love told reporters on a conference call on Friday.

"You leave wanting more," he said.

At the same time, the unusual extra day between two games played in the same city gives teams a chance to rest weary bodies and prepare a game plan.

"We have a couple days here where we can get our legs underneath us. Guys who played heavy minutes get their rest, get their recovery, get in the gym, take care of your body, whatever you need to do," he said.

"We'll be keyed up and ready to go for Sunday."

At 82 games the NBA regular season is one of sports' most grueling slogs.

That is even more true for postseason veterans like Love, who won last year's championship in late June only to return for the season opener in October.

Out of concern that the schedule was leading to more injuries, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the players union this year agreed to add a week to next year's schedule while keeping the season at the same number of games.

"It's not the length of the season, it's the time between the games. There's a direct correlation between fatigue and injury on the part of the players," Silver told reporters prior to Game One.

The league also hopes the extra time will disincentivize teams from resting players late in the season, especially star players during nationally televised games that bring in big revenue for the league.

But Silver dismissed the idea of adding an entire month to the schedule as some have suggested.

"I know the union is also open to discussing possibly spreading out the season a little bit more," he said on Thursday.

"My desire is not to be giving this press conference in July."

Editing by Gene Cherry

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