The Cavaliers rested LeBron James and Kyrie Irving (though not Kevin Love, as initially indicated) yesterday and lost to the Heat. Cleveland now needs a win over the Raptors and a Celtics loss to the Bucks to secure the No. 1 seed. The odds are against that.
So more rest is coming for the Cavs.
Cavs general manager David Griffin told ESPN that James won’t play in the Cavs’ regular-season finale Wednesday against Toronto because of his calf strain. Irving might play. James hasn’t appeared in a regular-season finale since 2007.
“The most important thing for us is getting those guys some rest,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “They’ve been carrying the load all season. … It’s just the right thing to do. For us going forward, if we’re going to make a long run and deep into these playoffs, those guys being healthy is the most important thing.”
The Raptors are already locked into the No. 3 seed, so they could also rest players. The Bucks are gunning for the No. 5 seed and an easier first-round opponent (Washington, as opposed to Toronto), so they’ll try to beat Boston.
So, don’t completely close the door on the Cavaliers landing the No. 1 seed. But it’s clearly not a priority.