INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- The Golden State Warriors certainly earned home-court advantage in the NBA Finals, with 67 regular-season wins compared to the Cleveland Cavaliers' 53, but LeBron James believes that the NBA schedule-makers gave the Warriors a favorable slate in between Finals games as well.
"I know it's a difficult schedule," James said after shootaround Tuesday as the Cavs prepared for Game 3 later that night. "I looked at the schedule and they have more time in their home than we have. They gave us every other day back home. They give those guys 2 ½ days of rest when they go back home. But, that's the schedule and it is what it is."
Indeed, the Finals schedule called for an extra off day in between Games 1 and 2 in the Bay Area, and the series will include an extra off day in between Game 4 and Game 5, which is a home game for the Warriors, and again between Game 6 and Game 7, another home game for Golden State, should the series go the distance.
James said the Cavs' plane arrived back in Cleveland at 6 a.m. Monday after leaving Oakland, California, late Sunday night after Game 2. Shortly thereafter, the team met at noon for a film session at the practice facility.
"Not many hours of sleep but, I mean, the schedule it is what it is and you try to get as much rest as you can," James said.
The Cavs stole the home-court edge from Golden State by winning Game 2, and James said the atmosphere at Quicken Loans Arena for Tuesday's Game 3 should be something to see.
"I know our fans are going to be unbelievable tonight," James said. "This will probably be the loudest I've ever heard them tonight, and I think our guys are very excited about playing in front of them. I am as well. But I don't need any extra motivation right now or no extra lift or things of that nature."
According to James, home-court advantage won't be the determining factor of which team takes home the championship. The Cavs have gone 26-2 at the Q dating back to Jan. 19. Meanwhile, the Warriors went 39-2 at Oracle Arena in the regular season and 8-1 at home to start the playoffs before the Cavs beat them in Game 2. "Both teams are here for a reason," James said. "Obviously they have the luxury of having four games, if necessary, on their home floor, and we have three, if necessary. But for us, it doesn't matter if we're at home or on the road. We have to come out with unbelievable effort both offensively and defensively, and if we do that, we'll give ourselves a good chance to win."