Michael Malone Jamal Murray city Boston Los Angeles basketball Michael Malone Jamal Murray city Boston Los Angeles

Nuggets' focus -- Keeping 'rhythm' during break before NBA Finals - ESPN

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The Denver Nuggets returned to practice on Friday as they continue to wait to see whom they will face in the NBA Finals. The Nuggets have not played since sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals on Monday, meaning they will have nine off-days heading in to Game 1 of the NBA Finals, which is scheduled for June 1 no matter when the Eastern Conference finals is decided between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat. «It's impossible to keep your rhythm if you're not playing games,» Denver head coach Michael Malone said on Friday after practice. «You can do whatever you want in practice, but there's no way you can replicate playing an NBA playoff game.» The Nuggets were off on Tuesday.

Some players came in for an optional workout day on Wednesday and did conditioning on Thursday before participating in practice on Friday.

They are scheduled to practice on Saturday. «For us, my biggest concern is the rhythm but more importantly conditioning,» Malone said. «You're playing every other day for so long, and now all of a sudden you have an eight-, nine-, 10-day break, whatever it is.

I wanted to make sure we got up and down, conditioned.» Despite not knowing their Finals opponent, the Nuggets are sharpening things more mentally than physically to stay on top of their game. «Just our awareness, especially we need to lock in on practices for just the detail stuff,» point guard Jamal Murray said of what the Nuggets try to work on during this break. «Let's be on time, let's not have any turnovers, that we're doing scripts, just kind of the simple things so we're not getting sloppy just because we are where we are.

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