For the second consecutive week, the NBA’s nationally-televised Saturday showcase game became a bit of a farce after one of the teams involved elected to rest their star players. This time, it was the Cleveland Cavaliers, who sat LeBron James and several other regulars against the Los Angeles Clippers in what was the first of a pair of back-to-back games.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers responded by saying the NBA needs to do something about those back-to-backs, particularly as it relates to their nationally-televised contests.
“We have to protect our product,” Rivers said, via Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN. “It’s hard. It’s impossible, if you actually knew what went into scheduling, but the look of back-to-back ABC national games — it’s not good.”
Rivers made clear he has no problem with the Cavaliers or any other team resting stars, as it’s a practice he himself engaged in earlier in the week.
“I hate it for the fans,” Rivers said. “I really do. I hate it. I do it. We all do it. I mean, it’s bad. And I did it the other night in Denver. There are people with Blake [Griffin] and [DeAndre Jordan] jerseys all over the place.”
The Cavaliers got a talking to from the league office for their decisions, but there’s not a lot the NBA can do about this practice except adjust their scheduling.