Phil Jackson and Mike Brown are on the same page — if you have some stars who could use a little rest before the playoffs, get it for them. Don’t risk further injury. Last night both the Lakers and Cavaliers were willing to sacrifice wins — both losing close games on the road — to sit and rest Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
Stan Van Gundy is on a totally different page.
“Look, if you’re going to coach worried about injuries, don’t play your guys at all ever,” Van Gundy said this morning.
“Sit em for 82 games all year. Don’t have them practice. Don’t have them play. What’s the difference? Do their injury chances go up tonight as opposed to playing last week?
“Every time you play, yeah you have a chance of getting hurt. I’m not going to sit a guy for 12 days and I don’t think those guys are going to sit their guys for 12 days either and so if they come back and play in the last game and get hurt, what, was that a mistake? I’m not ever going to run in fear of injuries.”
If you’re sitting a guy just because you fear the Andrew Bogut/Chris Bosh scenario, maybe SVG has a point. But he also knows that after 82 games nobody’s legs are as fresh as they were in November. Everybody has bumps and bruises and soreness. Why not give those guys some time off? Why not rest their legs so maybe they have a little more spring in their step? So they are a little mentally fresher?
There are a lot of days off in the playoffs, but it doesn’t feel like that with the pressure and focus and practices. A mini-vacation for a player right now is not a bad thing.