Blogtable: The rest issue …

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: Kyrie’s 57 or Klay’s 37? | The rest issue … | Brighter future: Knicks or Lakers?



VIDEOThe Starters address the issue of resting players

> It’s a trend now, resting players who are healthy and able to play. Sure, coaches should do what’s best for their team. And yes, fans deserve to see the best players. So what can be done about this, moving forward?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com Wait, don’t you know I’m sitting out this “blogtable” question? Two out of three on any given day is a hectic pace and I’m tuckered … OK, here are four suggestions, any of which I’ll happily take credit for if implemented: First, cut the preseason down by 10 days (four tune-up games are plenty) so the regular season can start earlier, sprinkling those days into what used to be four-in-five-night grinds. Second, encourage teams to lighten players’ loads on practice days, travel days and off days. Third, let coaches know that shorter minutes in more games is preferable to zero minutes in some; ticket buyers ought to have a fair chance of seeing both teams’ stars play, say, 24 minutes. And fourth, if all these rest provisions are adopted, mandate that marquee players will play in marquee games (i.e., TNT, ABC and ESPN dates). Those are the nights the NBA sells itself to casual fans and broadens its appeal.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: Until both sides — owners and players —  come together for the good of player health and the quality of the game and sacrifice a slice of the gobs of money they take in to play a reduced schedule of, say, 66 to 72 games, everything else is just hot air. The solution is simple. But billionaires and millionaires won’t give up a dollar, which is why all we get is yammering and lineups that should make the league ashamed.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com Nothing. It’s just a new fact of life. Not a good one once lottery-bound teams start sitting players to make sure they are rested for the offseason, compared to the understandable reason of wanting to be ready for the postseason, but I don’t think anything can be done. I’d love to hear the suggestions. Any attempted clampdown would merely encourage coaches to perfect stretching the truth. “My starting center woke up with a sore back. Prove me wrong. By the way, my starting point guard stayed home because of some pressing personal business that needed his full attention. Call his wife if you don’t believe me.” It creates more problems than it solves.

Shaun Powell, NBA.com If coaches want to rest players, fine, I guess that’s accepted nowadays. But pulling a Steve Kerr and sitting four-fifths of your starting lineup is over the top. Stop the madness at that point. What’s really weird is players, this deep into the season, rarely if ever practice. Which means they get days off and nights off? Klay Thompson is 25 and healthy and he needs a breather? You can’t put a player out there for at least 15 minutes? Have some respect for the game, at least, and confine your “rest” to one starter per night, if you must. And Adam Silver, please trim the schedule to 75 games, dump the preseason altogether, return to best-of-five for the first round … and convince the owners that less games and revenue is better for the sport (good luck with that one).

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: It really sucks for fans who bought tickets to that particular game to see those particular players. If I lived in Denver and bought tickets for last Friday’s game against Golden State because my kid was a big Stephen Curry fan, I’d be pretty ticked that Stephen Curry didn’t play. Maybe the league can allow fans to exchange those tickets for another game. But resting players will continue to be a smart strategy for good teams who are thinking about the big picture, unless the season is shortened. Fewer games (72 has always been my suggestion) would both allow for more rest and make each game more important.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: A heavy-handed approach will only make things worse. No coach wants to be told how to manage his team. So the league should stay above that fray and institute some general guidelines for resting players who don’t have significant injuries. You want an age limit? How about no one under the age of 30 gets a night off for rest? I could operate on four hours of sleep for six days before my 30th birthday. Rest later, when you are old and cranky. No rest for players on losing teams, never … EVER! And if the integrity of the game means anything, these teams with the blatant maintenance programs must go back to the camouflage of the “sore back” and “tendinitis” as the serial excuses for guys missing games.

Ian Thomsen, NBA.com: More efficient scheduling can help reduce the wear on players. But I believe this trend of resting players is to be encouraged, actually, because it shows fans that the heart is in the right place — that teams are more concerned with winning games and contending for championships than they are focused on the negative business impact. Isn’t this what fans want — for winning to come first?

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: The only way coaches will be convinced to stop sitting guys is if somehow they realize that sitting these guys, for whatever reason, isn’t what is best for their team. What it reminds me of, to be honest, is the way the Atlanta Braves used to handle resting their players during the stretch run. They’d qualify for the postseason with weeks left, rest guys the last few weeks of the season, then hit the postseason with a roster full of guys who were out of sync and out of rhythm. Resting and focusing on preventative maintenance is great, in theory. But you can’t turn the magic on and off.

23 Comments

  1. sports fan says:

    Shorten the preseason.
    Shorten the regular season.
    No more 4 games in 5 nights.
    Less back to backs.
    Put the first round back to best of 5.

    All of these combined will reduce injuries and rest time.

  2. Nba1 says:

    I agree and feel for the people waiting for a certain game.
    There should be a rule that 12 hours before a game if you are sitting a healthy player to advise media.
    The thing that gets me is when your betting and u don’t no who’s playing, also play the whole 48 mins, don’t stand there the last 5 10 or 20 seconds! I get why they do it but think of the people watching and betting everyday, supporting the sport. Not making millions

  3. red valdez says:

    Resting players without injuries is completely ridiculous. These superstar players are paid millions to play high level basketball game at any given day or night, they are provided of high end training and conditioning facilities to be at best possible health required to their job. The thing here is that they are PAID and the fans also PAID to see them play. How about those regular employees who are working overtime, all day or all night and are not paid millions. As a fan and also as a player , its a commitment to give fans the best game they deserve. AND THEY PAID FOR IT!!

  4. George Sey says:

    Resting player is good for the sports. A team has 15players and some play only 2mins whiles other play 48mins. San Antonio style gives others time to shine. Resting players also makes fair competition as it helps the poor teams to compete. Cleveland against Philly with be a good if the King stays on the bench gets his rest and be ready for Houston or Miami. Players are human after all

  5. Inky Jack says:

    Reducing games cannot work currently, easy reason why, money. Currently take a player who makes 12 mill a year for 4 years, plays a couple pre-season games , 82 regular season and gets to 2nd round playoffs (maybe), what is the same players worth if that season is 60 games?, 70? lets say on average they make $50 on each ticket sold (I have no base of reference just random number chosen here) and you get 15,000 fans a game, thats $750,000 a game, take away 10 games they lose 7.5 mill, take away 20 games 15 mill… whats the solution pay the players less? not happening especially with the new tv contract coming in, what else? raise ticket prices? thats not gonna work really well for cities with lower attendence as it is… The NBA , and NBPA both created a value for this brand, to lessen its value and lower its income, either side won’t agree… so we come back to scheduling changes, which keeps the status quo and green flowing…

  6. Wayne Fitzgerald says:

    Resting players is just plain wrong. Disrespectful to the fans, disrespectful to the opponents, disrespectful to the game. These guys are athletes who get paid to entertain the fans. You rest players in a blow out win or loss… during garbage time as they say. Anyway, I don’t see how any rule could fix this. All you need to do is lie that your player is injured. I don’t know how, but as fans, we have to try to get into the coach’s head… let them feel bad about cheating the fans. Maybe send them millions of messages to express our disappointment!

  7. Desmodeus says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. 58 game regular season. Every team plays every other team twice; once at home and once away. Best 16 records in the league make the playoffs. Get rid of conferences and divisions, they’re meaningless.

    • chalice says:

      I don’t think that is a good solution for basketball for fans of a team. Divisional are meaningful as when a team is doing well, the whole city becomes happier and more interested. If you have no divisions and conferences, then why would people in the east even try to watch basketball? (not hardcore fans), The west is sooo much better than the east (minus 2, at most 3 teams) that all the matches in the east are now meaningless. Divinisions create rivalries. It creates excitement to otherwise dull area of the country (basketball wise). Without divisions and conferences, basketball interest will decrease and only the west side of the country will watch and cheer. If you don’t beleive me, then why do ticket sales increase with divisional leaders?

  8. lbj says:

    Rules on who to rest and how to rest them just won’t work. What would stop Greg Popovich from playing Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili against the 76ers for 2 minutes and sitting them the rest of the game? Don’t tell me the league will also place a rule on a minimum number of minutes for stars?

    These coaches resting most of their starters in one game is more of a statement to the league than anything else. Winning teams want to win every time they can. However, the risk of a season ending injury to one of the key players of a playoffs-bound team while playing in a meaningless game is just too heavy. It’s just bad for the league as a whole.

    Rules on resting will not fix this. The only way to solve this is to fix the schedule. What the league doesn’t understand is that it doesn’t need to reduce the number of games, they just need to lighten the schedule.

  9. harriethehawk says:

    I saw 5 other teams play at the Phillips Arena: OKC twice, Phily, New York, Wizards and Toronto. I really lucked out. None of the stars on either team sat out w/ the exception of Bradley Beal. Because he was REALLY hurt. But I knew that going into the arena. But I would not be amused to spend the kind of money I did, to not see John Wall, Paul Pierce, Carmello Anthony, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Rudy Gay, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, JR Smith or even say Lou Williams sitting out w/ no reasonable excuse other than “resting”. It’s just not fair but it never happened to me.

  10. Gillsy says:

    I don’t mind players resting every now and again. However, their should be a number of starters that can’t just be rested at any one time. Having 4 out is just ridiculous and cost them the game. While if Tim Duncan misses a game for rest every now and again no one cares, because other other marque players are still on the court.

  11. dustydreamnz says:

    Cut out the pre-seaaon, have 60-65 games over the same time frame which ensures less back to backs, less injuries and more competition.

  12. Jimmy says:

    Didnt Tony screw this guys wife?

  13. rc rc says:

    Spreading the games out would be the most logical first step to take.
    Take another 2-3 weeks for the season, so you don’t have to play very many back to back games.
    Players with 15+ years in the league shouldn’t be playing 88 games and then play off games.
    The season would be better if it was closer to 60 games a year.
    There is just too much wear and tear on the body when you play 88 games plus a deep play off run and then go play for your national team all in the same year.
    I believe the quality of the games goes down drastically when you play that much.

  14. jtwy says:

    No more than 1 back to back every 2 weeks. No more than 2 per month.

    80 games = 2 X 15 for Eastern Conf = 30
    3 X 10 for non div. west = 30
    5 X 4 for in Divisions = 20

    Tie breakers are taken out of the mix with all Confernce games odd

    • Stink says:

      I think you’re on the right track with this one. It also makes it much easier to understand the schedule.
      Although it will be 76 games because you play the four other teams inthe division 4 times (you can’t actually play yourself). Surely six games less throughout the season will not have that impact, It’s only 90 games across the league.

      And how do they determine those last six games currently???

  15. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    It’s only bad when you got tickets to go to a game were a good player sits and you wanted to see him.

  16. I don’t like the idea of less games. I do like the idea of a season that starts earlier.
    And I think resting too many players down the stretch will hurt more than it will help, because a team needs to be in rhythm when it enters the playoffs.
    I find it weird that teams stop practicing. Also, I haven’t seen a correlation between playing time and injury. There’s probably a correlation between rest and injury, because that’s how the body works. The body adapts to stress by getting stronger, and when you take that stress away your body can regress; then if you come back with the same kind of stress\intensity your body might not be prepared.

  17. jake s. says:

    I also kind of wonder if the players are leveraging their coaches as an extension of the players union. What i mean is that high profile players may be telling coaches to sit them for several games to help lobby for a shorter season… which is on the agenda for the PU.

  18. jake s. says:

    If you are an NBA franchise and you want to rest your stars you must be transparent about the rest at least 3 weeks in advance. You can’t win both ways if you are an NBA team. You can’t just rest stars on short notice, while still selling tickets when the public thinks their favorite stars are going to play.

  19. Cneeal says:

    Resting top players does not ensure wins. The great ones play through the 82 games. And still won championships! If their top players are well rested and they didn’t win, they’ll say they’re “rusty” 🙂

    • lbj says:

      I agree. Those were the truly great ones. But as a fan of the game, I think every would agree that sitting out a few games is better than a season-ending injury–for the superstars, stars, role players–basically anyone.

      I’d rather see Kobe getting beat on the floor than sitting out because his shoulder’s broke. But that’s just me.

  20. Robert says:

    The best would be to have no preseason but in stead have a pre-postseason of about 4 to 6 weeks between the qualifying teams so most of the injuries will heal befor the playoffs starts if any and coaches can tweak their roaster for each oponent in a friendly game what will not count for standings but it should still atract enough revenue for the NBA! it is a win win situation and players can rest or prepare on this perioud of time.