Will Heat Finally Get Chance To Rest?

HANG TIME, Texas — Now that the streak is broken, it doesn’t make any sense to risk breaking down the key members of the Heat before the playoffs start.

After 27 consecutive victories and nearly eight relentless weeks of chasing history, it’s likely Miami’s key players will get a chance to recharge their batteries before what is expected to be another long playoff grind.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade told Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that they look forward to getting a chance to catch their breath and put their feet up.

Forward LeBron James said he would appreciate a break over the final two-plus weeks.

“I understand with the position that we’re in now,” he said, “I can use a game here or a game there, to kind of get my body just feeling a lot better before the playoffs start.”

Guard Dwyane Wade, who was given two games off earlier in the week to rest a balky right knee, said being right for the playoffs is the priority, but that also includes maintaining a degree of continuity.

“We’re at the point,” he said, “where we want to make sure that guys are focusing on what we need to do and not be out there just waiting for the playoffs. So we still have basketball to play and we have to play it when we’re on the court.

“But I think guys need to take the opportunity, as well, to clear minds and clear their bodies and get ready for what we’re put together for.”

All of the principals were in position for Friday night’s bounce-back win at New Orleans. James played 32 minutes, Wade 33 and Chris Bosh had the lightest load at 22. Starting point guard Mario Chalmers was held out due to a bothersome ankle.

Wouldn’t it be the most delicious of ironies — and a touch of tit-for-tat revenge — if coach Erik Spoelstra decided to start that rest in the next game on Sunday night in San Antonio? Not only would it short-circuit an NBA Finals preview against the best-in-the-West Spurs, but could be a response to San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich having four of his top players — Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green – fly home at the end of a road trip back on Nov. 29 rather than play at Miami.

Coincidentally, a lawsuit against the Spurs that had been filed by a Heat ticket holder for, in essence, breach of contract, was voluntarily dropped on Friday. The Spurs were fined $250,000 by commissioner David Stern for not giving proper notification of Popovich’s decision. The Heat barely beat a team of Spurs reserves 105-100.

Now four months later, would it be a fair turnabout by Miami? Is it simply time for the Big Three of the Heat to get some rest before the playoffs? And who’ll be monitoring Stern’s blood pressure before the lineups are announced?

30 Comments

  1. sports fan says:

    When the Bulls won 72 games in the regular season Phil Jackson never rested MJ & Pippen by having them miss an entire game. Whenever the Bulls would dominate other teams for 3 quarters then MJ & Pippen would sit out for most of the 4th quarter. That’s how they would get their rest. The Heat could be more along the lines of this but resting Tim Duncan the way Popovich does is understandable due to Duncan’s age.

  2. javi says:

    I think they SHOULD rest LeBron and Co. for a game or two, but with the Spurs nipping at their heels, they don’t want to lose the best record in the NBA race, and it’s important to stay in form and motivated as you head into the postseason. I’ve been watching a lot of Heat games from the East, since no other team really looks potent enough to face the 4 or 5 great teams out west. It used to be a problem crossing MY recordings with my wife’s, but our DVR does the work for us now. I work a lot of late hours at DISH, but since our DVR can record up to 6 live HD programs at once during primetime, we don’t fret anymore. The DISH Hopper lets us get all of her shows from the four major networks, and I still have the option to record two other shows simultaneously. With the Heat being the way THEY are this year, and the tight race out west, I’m glad I can record and store whatever I want.

  3. r says:

    i understand miami might be tired. but they need to play against a full powered spurs team before the playoffs. just so that they know what their up against if they play them in the finals. it would be a terrible thing if miami were caught off guard in the finals and lost an important game.

  4. tanibababa says:

    LeBron & D-Wade should not be taking any rest.. The Heat are rolling. The team chemistry might get ruined.
    And this is the best chance to get the home advantage if in case Spurs will be the team to meet Miami in the finals.

  5. NBAlover says:

    Nbafaninsc is completely wrong: why would this be a statement game for the defending champions who currently have the best record in the league? Anything they have to prove will come in the playoffs.

  6. Ralph says:

    Tit for tat?!? Blinebary, you sound like a Washington GOP.

  7. Pedro says:

    not rest totally. but maybe limited minutes for them. so there’s still continuity in their game. let the bench mob play more so they can get their feel for the game before the playoffs start.

  8. Nbafaninsc says:

    It’s laughable to see some of these post that somehow sitting the big 3 will bother the spurs. If they are so tough;
    1. they wouldn’t be bitching about the bulls loss
    2. They wouldn’t beat Spurs 2nd and 3rd string bench by only 5 pts (in Miami no less)

    And anyone who knows about the nba knows this is more of a statement game for Miami, so no the big 3 will not sit out.

    • terrance says:

      Miami has made their statement with 27 wins and the current best record. Plus they are the defending champions. Spurs need to make a statement.

      • bigwes95 says:

        you have to think that the heat had their whole game plan surrounded around the spurs starters, not the bench, and it’s seriously hard to adjust to win something when you’re completely unprepared against the team with the best bench in the league and a coach who is one of the best all time. they adjusted very well to that game, the bulls just got a lot of 50/50 plays in the end; which, if miami got would have continued the streak most likely. the bulls wouldn’t continue to fight if it seemed liked miami got all those 50/50 plays, and miami made it a close game at the end, imagine if they just got 2 or 3 of those plays the bulls did, might as well chalk it up as a win. and spurs need to make a statement in the play-offs instead of just keep getting the best record and then losing in the western conference play-offs, no matter which round. miami doesn’t have anything else to prove except when it comes to the playoffs. which is to win more championships or they’ll be ridiculed like no other team in history.

  9. SmallF21 says:

    This is just nonsense. If MIA rests his players against SA, neither Pop nor Spurs fans would care. “Revenge”? seriously?.

  10. spursfan88 says:

    As long as miami receives the same fine I couldnt care less about spo resting the big three.

  11. mikmaks says:

    Make sure to get the number 1 seed first

    • Random Guy says:

      They’ve already clinched the top seed in the East. Only thing they need to do now is clinch homecourt-advantage throughout the post-season.

  12. cesar says:

    if spo want to rest the big three.. he couldnt…. commish stern is watching …he will get angry,,,hehe

  13. Kamy says:

    Its like D Wade said, “it would be good to have a rest before playoffs, but a game or two to maintain continuity “. Coach Spo needs to look at their schedule, and limit their time on -.500 teams and give them i good run against playoff teams. As for the Spurs game, i would keep the big three on, show coach Pop that my team is tough, be the better team that they are and blow them out.

  14. SpursFan says:

    i wouldnt mind the heat resting their “big 3″ – spurs would easily win it wouldnt be competitive

  15. Freida says:

    I would love the big 3 to rest on Sunday and Tuesday. The Heat has nothing to prove to either the Spurs or the Knicks. That would be poetic justice for the Spurs.

  16. Paul says:

    Resting the key players in San Antonio is a horrible idea because you have to have a strategy against potential finals opponents, and the best strategy is built with experience. Especially when the contenders are from the other conference.

    • Random Guy says:

      But then again, it’s the coaches job to do that. Coaches are there for a reason: to guide the team with strategies and who or what to play. For sure, Pop has something in store for every team. He’s golden when it comes to adjustments. That’s what it’s all about. Adjustments, adjustments, adjustments. It’s not even a secret anymore. When you face the same team for 4 or up to 7 times in a series and employ the same strategy over and over and over again, there’s no way you’ll be able to win, especially when facing a team like the Miami Heat.

      • bigwes95 says:

        @Random Guy. the coaches are supposed to get the players ready and set up strategies and plays and stuff, but they’re not the one’s playing. watching from the bench isn’t nearly the same as actualy being out there. ask bench players if they can just come off and ply 35 minutes just because the coaches tell them what to do. they can’t do it because they won’t have the experience to do. i agree that the most important thing is adjusting to the game/s in a series and pop just happens to be one of the best coaches of all time. i think that’s why miami lost to dallas in the finals, besides lebron not taking over, spoelstra still leaned on him when he wasn’t ready/didn’t know what it took. it can’t be all lebron’s fault. the coach had wade and bosh who could have stepped up a little more. coach didn’t adjust. and i think this game will come down to which team adjusts to the other one better, which i think will be miami because spurs are so good they don’t really have to adjust that much and make others adjust to them, but i think miami will adjust later in the game, not the beginning.

  17. Giamillo says:

    Rest? Only when n. 1 playoff seed will be sure.

  18. steagle says:

    I’m no Miami fan, but yes Erik should give the day off to his big 3 for the SA game. Give Pop a taste of his own medicine. That was a punk move by Pop – if you have to take a day off as a professional athlete not even mid way through the season and due to no injury or ailments on a game as big as SA-Miami, then you deserve all the heat you get (no pun intended).

    • RG says:

      when you have 5 games in 7 nights during a 6-game road trip early into the season (as the Spurs did) while the Heat getting 4 days off before playing against the Spurs on that night, i think Pop has every right to give them a night off, no matter who the opponent is. sorry, but it was a smart move, not a punk move. next time, the schedule maker shouldn’t make such a terrible schedule.

      and it would be unwise for Spoelstra to rest his Big 3 since they haven’t clinched home court advantage throughout the playoffs yet.

      • merkin says:

        And look at the way Duncan is playing now, you think the rest Pop occasionally throws Tim’s way hasn’t helped.

  19. zhiggi says:

    The heat shouldn’t rest their big three, they should play to get a feel of tough teams, so they know and could sense on what would come later in the playoffs.

  20. Not tired yet says:

    What happens now is you check the nightly schedule for the teams competing for a playoff spot. Only those games will be competitive.