Celtics Sit Starters, Choose Rest Over Playoff Seeding


Any Celtics fans in the D.C. area who bought tickets to Monday’s game in hopes of seeing Boston prepare for the postseason with a thrashing of the home-town Wizards is going to be disappointed.  Boston may still very well beat Washington, because the Wizards, in the simplest of terms, just aren’t very good. But the Celtics will have to do it with a starting lineup of Delonte West, Von Wafer, Jeff Green, Glen Davis, and Jermaine O’Neal.

Doc Rivers has decided to opt for rest over playoff seeding, and as a result, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, and likely Paul Pierce will not play Monday, and will not play in Wednesday’s final game of the regular season against the Knicks either, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN Boston).

As far as the Eastern Conference playoff picture is concerned, this means that the Celtics will likely finish the season where they are right now in the standings, with the No. 3 seed, and a first-round date with the New York Knicks. More importantly, it means that Boston will not have home court advantage over the Heat in a second-round or the Bulls in a conference finals matchup.

The plan for Wednesday is subject to change, according to Rivers, should the Heat unexpectedly lose to Atlanta on Monday.

“It’s a very difficult decision,” Rivers said. “Miami has a tough game tonight, but overall it’s right for the team.”

Boston could go full-speed these final two contests, and attempt to overtake the second-seeded Heat, who currently hold a one-game advantage in the standings. But really, there’s no need to do so. Miami is not likely to lose to the Hawks and/or the Raptors, and for a team that’s been playing just .500 basketball for the past few weeks, using this time to rest and refocus for what would be a very difficult run back to the Finals just makes more sense.

Kings’ Karl admits mistakes in DeMarcus Cousins trade controversey

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In the NBA, elite players have the leverage. It is just simple supply and demand.

DeMarcus Cousins is an elite player — and a favorite of owner Vivek Ranadive. He is not going anywhere.

Which made this summer’s “George Karl wants trade Cousins” a battle the coach couldn’t ultimately win — the owner wasn’t going to sign off on it, and the fans are going to side with Boogie. Remember Karl said he never had a player that was untradable, and that spiraled into reports Karl probed trade options with other teams, much to the frustration of management and Cousins himself.

Karl owned up to some of his mistakes in an interview on Comcast Bay Area, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea.com.

“To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”

“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”

The relationship between Cousins and Karl — not to mention Rajon Rondo and other veterans — is the biggest key to the Kings’ season. Karl and Cousins say their relationship is solid now, but what happens when that is put under stress at some point during the season?

In talking to people around the team, the Kings players seemed to have formed a tight bond — even if part of the glue of that bond is a distrust of Karl that can work for them. This is a team that has the talent to compete for the bottom couple playoff seeds in the Western Conference, but everybody needs to be pulling on the rope in the same direction. We will see pretty quickly if the Kings can do that.

Pistons reveal “Detroit Chrome” alternate uniform

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I’m a fan of the Pistons’ alternate uniforms in general — their “Motor City” ones may be may favorite alternates around the league.

Now they have a new one — Detroit Chrome.

The Pistons will break these out for seven home games this season. From the official release:

The inspiration for the Detroit Chrome jerseys came about as a way to honor our coolest cars from the past and the cars of the future. Detroit is universally known as the auto capital of the world, where chrome leaves an indelible mark on the cars we create. The uniforms feature a matte chrome base color with clean simple lines inspired by the classic muscle cars that have roared up and down Woodward Avenue for decades. The navy trim and Detroit emblazoned across the chest represent the blue collar work ethic that the auto industry and region was built on.

Clean, simple, cool — I like it.

That would look good in the first round of the playoffs, too. (I’m predicting they get the eight seed.)