Melbourne United believe the quirky scheduling of the NBL finals will work to their advantage in the championship-deciding series.
Due to Australia's involvement in FIBA World Cup qualifying, United had 10 days' break leading into their semi-final showdown with New Zealand, which they won on Monday night 2-0.
And with their grand-final opponents still be decided, with Perth and Adelaide squaring off on Friday night in game two, Melbourne can enjoy another lengthy spell before they host the opening game on March 16 in the five-game title-deciding series.
Coach Dean Vickerman said it suited his team.
"This whole year has been new, having the (international) windows, and we've been pretty good coming out the other side of them," Vickerman said.
"We have some older players in our group and the rest only helps them so it's been positive for us."
Among the United veterans, captain Dave Anderson is 37, while Dave Barlow is 34, Josh Boone is 33, Tai Wesley is 31 while sharp-shooter Chris Goulding sneaks in under 30 at 29.
Vickerman said his team were taking a measured approach to their preparation, aware of keeping a lid on things so far out from game one.
While Melbourne's attack, led by classy import guard Caspar Ware, wins acclaim, Vickerman said their defence was key in their semi-final games against the Breakers, in which they matched them in raw physicality.
"Every game we've played, New Zealand has led us in the first quarter so it was all about let's keep them close and trust our second-half defence," he said.
"I thought the physicality of the New Zealand series was unbelievable ... they stood up to it and handled it well."
Australian Associated Press