Cleveland Cavaliers coach, Tyronn Lue is getting some slack because he made the decision to rest their three biggest players Saturday night against the Clippers in a Nationally televised game, however should they be sorry?
After the Big three sat out of the primetime game, league office called the Cavaliers to complain about the decision.
Lue said he believes he made the right call and that the whole controversy is stupid.
“It’s stupid,” Lue said of the controversy, emphasizing he wasn’t going to play two guys coming off injuries in a back-to-back. “Because Kyrie didn’t come back the game before because of knee soreness, Kevin just had his first game back and he needed two games between these games. But whatever. It’s stupid.”
The trio of see LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love returned the next day to play the LA Lakers.
Lebron spoke to reporters says he sees the dilemma coaches are facing.
“It sucks,” James said. “There are some times guys have to rest, and some guys need rest. It’s a long, strenuous season, and the NBA does the best it can putting the schedule together but you’re going to have back-to-backs, and you’re going to have certain games where certain things fall on certain nights.
“But coach’s job is to figure out a way to get a team to compete for a championship, and not compete for a game. And it sucks at certain times because you only play in certain cities once, or you only play certain teams once on their home floor. Me personally, I want to play in every game, I wanted to play last night but my coach said he felt it was best I didn’t play last night so I didn’t and I’m going to go with my coach.”
“I’ve been part of six straight Finals, and every season the Finals is bigger and bigger and better and better, and more people are tuning in. So I don’t see a problem with people watching,” James continued.
Irving also chimed in saying how important rest is for players, but that he gets why fans are upset.
“I can’t stress enough how important rest is, man,” Irving said. “You’ve got guys who have come before us and played 82 games and they have their opinions. We’re just in a different time now, a different way of taking care of your body and understanding what the goal is at the end of the season. It’s in the forefront of our minds — we’re playing for a championship run, a playoff run. We all want to play, I want to be a part of that as much as possible, but when our coaching staff and medical staff rests us I’m not opposed to it. I know fans all across the league want to see us at our best and they got to see a show tonight (against the Lakers). I would have loved go against the Clippers and go against a veteran team like that, but I have to respect the coach’s wishes.”
A growing number of the Elite teams are resting their top players, especially during road games because they know how important rest is.
According to NBCsports.com there have been studies done that show players perform much better on the court when they are rested, and they are also 3.5 times more likely to be injured while playing back-to-back when muscle fatigue starts to sets in.
Irving suggested that if the NBA wants to promote Saturday games like they are playoff games, then they need to schedule them like they’re playoff games with rest on either side for teams.
I’m 100 percent with (the fans),” Irving said. “Hopefully we can spread (the schedule) out a little bit more and get guys a little bit more rest. When you go from West Coast to East Coast, and this is our sixth game in eight days — I don’t think anyone realized that — and we’re not hear to complain about it, but honestly playing basketball for six games in eight days is a lot.”