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A short series is just what the doctor ordered

So far things are shaping up well for the Warriors.

Steph Curry raises his hands in celebration during the Warriors Game 5 win over the Nuggets Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

A win is a win is a win, and should be celebrated accordingly, especially in the playoffs. The Golden State Warriors beat the Denver Nuggets in their first-round series, and that’s deserving of praise, even if it had taken seven overtime games to get there.

But they didn’t need seven games. They only needed five. And that’s worth celebrating extra.

Sure, we all know that you should celebrate when your team plays well. The Warriors only needing five games speaks to how well they’re playing, as does the +40 point differential in the series.

But that’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the lack of wear and tear that the Warriors face. They finished things off at home, meaning they didn’t have to travel after Game 5, except to their comfy homes that we all dream about owning. They get to sit on their couches, ice their knees, and watch the playoffs like the rest of us.

Their opponent — either the Memphis Grizzlies or Minnesota Timberwolves — will play a minimum of six games. If they make it to the Western Conference Finals, they’ll face the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, or New Orleans Pelicans — all teams that will play, at minimum, six games in the first round.

Those extra days of relaxation are crucial. They mean extra rest for Steph Curry, who missed 18 games this season. They mean extra rest for Draymond Green, who missed 36 games this season. They mean extra rest for Klay Thompson, who missed 50 games this season. They mean extra rest for Andre Iguodala, who missed 51 games this season, and has already missed two playoff games.

Staying home means those players don’t risk getting hurt — we’ve already seen key players sustain injuries this postseason. Not playing means being fresh when the semifinals open up next week, instead of being worn down by the grind.

If you really want to root for a Warriors advantage, then root for Minnesota to beat Memphis on Friday. Not only does that increase the odds of facing the lower-seeded Wolves, but it means the teams would have to play a seventh game on Sunday ... wearing out the winner that much more, and delaying the start of the semifinals by a few days.

The playoffs are a marathon, not a sprint. The Warriors have won four games, and still have 12 left to win. The more off days, the better. The fewer minutes, cuts, pivots, and collisions for their players, the better.

We’ll never be able to quantify the value gained by only playing five games instead of six or seven. But we know it’s there. And we know the Dubs have put themselves in a good position moving forward.