Here we go again.
Last Saturday during a nationally televised broadcast, the Warriors rested their key star players because they were wrapping up a brutal road trip. Last night, the Cavaliers were also on a long road trip and decided to rest star players.
And for the second week in a row, the ABC broadcast team complained. They called the Cavaliers “an absolute joke” for this. But I have to ask the question: Why are they so upset over this?
The NBA can’t do anything about it because they would essentially telling a coach how to operate his team. The Spurs did this in the past because they were looking at the season as a marathon, with the championship as the finish line.
The Warriors and Cavs have those same goals. Resting during a grueling season is strategic and coaches make these decisions knowing that they want their team at full strength during the playoffs. And if that means sacrificing some regular season games, it’s worth it.
(The irony here is that the three teams who have been mocked for these tactics are the Spurs, Warriors and Cavs. All three are run by coaches who have led their team to the championship. The ones complaining have championship experience. What do they know? ** /fandom rant end.)
There are arguments against this resting strategy. The obvious one is a selfish reason because ESPN/ABC paid big bucks to broadcast these games and they want the top stars to play. But these games are also falling on the latter ends of long road trips. The broadcast company wanted these slots (and paid a lot to get it) but they took the games from the long road trip. So is their complain really about basketball strategy or is it just for their own company?
Of course, the argument they also make is that there are fans who pay a lot of money to see the stars only to be disappointed when they don’t play. The teams don’t play to satisfy the fans’ desire. Of course, the league success would be nonexistent without the fans. But coaches aren’t coaching to satisfy the fans. They are coaching to win the championship. It sucks but it honestly is tough luck.
The schedule and system is made where resting is an option these coaches really have to consider. Players in the past have played all the games but this is a different time. Are the players and coaches soft? That’s up for debate. But they aren’t breaking any rules and their reasons are justified.
To all those who still complain, that’s just too bad. Until the schedule is stretched out longer or the league wants to control how a coach runs his team, this is the way it is and it’s perfectly fine.