Whether playing in the Pacific Coast League or the National Basketball Association, the game of basketball is a physical endeavor.
So it came as no surprise to see the Aces spread out during warmups before their second-round N.B.A. playoff game against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Aces shot jumpers from all over the court, clutching their elbows and knees, in preparation for this game, set to tip off on Friday at 6 p.m. EST.
“We really wanted to go out there and push the pace,” guard Brandon Gibson said. “It was good for our fans.”
But the teams still needed to break out the quarters.
The Aces needed some time to learn how to play a close game, their coach said. They are the No. 1 seed in the conference semifinals but defeated No. 6 seed New Orleans and the No. 3 seed Golden State Warriors in the first two rounds.
A couple weeks ago, the Aces trailed by 26 at halftime against Golden State but eventually won 104-102 in overtime, getting the ball in the final possession but missing a 3-pointer from the corner that would have won the game.
Coach Kevin Young said that lesson was “still pretty fresh in our minds.”
The Aces advanced by beating Atlanta 94-89 and would like to close out the Hawks with a win on Friday night. In the semifinals, there is no next-game wild card, but Young said his team will have an extra day of rest to prepare for the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.
The Aces know that there’s only one trophy at stake, but like the guys on the court, their end goal may be a little further off in the distance.
“It’s about playing as hard as we can play,” Young said. “And if you beat a team twice in a row, the streak’s still going.”