Several coaches have been in the news lately making decisions to rest players every so often for the players’ benefit. The most recent came when Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni criticized the Cleveland Cavaliers for making the decision to rest their stars ahead of Wednesday night’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies. D’Antoni went as far to rhetorically ask whether there was any potential way for making a rule against this coaching strategy.
“I don’t know what the rule would be. I feel bad for the fans,” NBA TV’s Greg Anthony on the DA Show with Damon Amendolara on CBS Sports Radio. “Having said that, no one said anything about Marc Gasol not playing last night in Cleveland. It always happens, it happens in every sport especially for the teams with the big picture perspective like the Cavs. Obviously the regular season, it’s important, but they’re going to be judged by what they do in the postseason and we saw it somewhat play out last year with Golden State.”
Over the course of an 82 game season, players who will have to play in the postseason will inevitably get tired between training, games and travel. The Warriors are a prime example of this as they seemed to fizzle toward the end of the postseason and even the late regular season. Anthony even remarked that Warriors head coach Steve Kerr remarked that he would’ve done it differently if given the opportunity.
“We see it with Gregg Popovich who is notorious for what he’s been doing in terms of that,” Anthony said. “I get it from the fan’s perspective but if I ran a team or coached a team, I would probably utilize the same approach.”