The Golden State Warriors are not sure if Andrew Bogut will overcome a groin strain and help combat the tall, athletic Oklahoma City Thunder featuring Kiwi centre Steven Adams.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Bogut was kept out of practice on Friday, but he is hoping the Australian centre might be back on the court for Saturday's practice.
"Not really sure," Kerr said, when asked if the injury could keep Bogut from playing.
"We're obviously hoping he'll be alright these next few days and we can treat it, but it's day by day."
The Warriors host the Thunder in game one of the NBA Western Conference Finals on Monday, with Kerr pointing to the rebound battle as the key to the series.
The Thunder are bursting with confidence after demolishing the San Antonio Spurs in the final game of their semi-final series, while the Warriors limped out of their series against the Portland Trail Blazers with Bogut, forward Draymond Green and league MVP Steph Curry dealing with injuries.
Kerr said Green and Curry were looking good.
A Bogut-Adams match-up would be a ferocious one, with both among the toughest, most aggressive big men in the NBA.
Bogut is a 213cm tall, 31-year-old, 15-year NBA veteran.
Rotorua's Adams is also 213cm, 22 and while only in his third year in the league, has become the star-studded Thunder's X-factor in the playoffs.
"This is a much bigger team," Kerr, comparing the Thunder to the Trail Blazers, said. "Rebounding will be key.
"Got to get the loose balls and keep them at bay on the glass and if you turn it over against these guys it's a dunk for somebody - they are so athletic in transition." The winner of the Warriors-Thunder best-of-seven game series will take on the yet-to-be decided Eastern Conference champions.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will play the winner of the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat series.
The Raptors hold a 3-2 lead and can close it out with a win in Friday's game six in Miami.