Silver says new rest guidelines will emphasize rest at home, not multiple stars on same night

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver knows the NBA is in a tough spot when it comes to rest — the sciences shows players perform better and are less likely to be injured with it, but for an entertainment business to have its biggest stars sitting games out (especially on the road or on national television) is bad optics.

“Back to your point about the science and the data, is that it’s not 82 games, it’s not the length of the season, it’s the time between the games and that there’s a direct correlation between fatigue and injury on the part of the players…” Silver said before Game 1 of these NBA Finals. “We had a good discussion with our teams at our last owners meeting, which was in April, and I think there is a recognition from teams that on one hand a certain amount of resting is just inevitable and appropriate to keep the players healthy, but that they shouldn’t be resting multiple starters on the same night,” Silver said. “And, incidentally, wherever possible, they should rest at home.”

Those concepts are headed to become guidelines from the competition committee to the teams, Silver told Marc Stein on ESPN Radio before Game 4.

“Where we’re heading is the adoption of guidelines that will be in place for next season which will strongly recommend that the extent they rest, they rest at home, and teams also not rest multiple starters on the same night,” Silver said. “Let’s see how that plays out.

“I’m reluctant to get into the business of directing these great coaches on minutes. As you know, players are often injured during the season, not to the point where they otherwise can’t play but maybe shouldn’t play. Then it’s a function of league doctors versus team doctors on how healthy a player is and whether it’s appropriate a player should be on the floor that night.

“I’d like to come up with a system that relies on the good faith of our teams that to the extent rest is necessary — and it is on occasion — that it’s done in an appropriate [manner] but the league executives are not dictating to coaches and GMs precisely what games their players should or shouldn’t be playing in.”

Yes, these are going to be just “guidelines” but the coaches ad GMs will know that if healthy players are rested, if this image problem continues, the guidelines could morph into something teams will like far less.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out next season. Will teams actually rest players at home? Forget that the teams want to make their season ticket holders and sponsors happy, the games at home tend to be spaced out. It’s 0n the road where the back-to-backs and four-in-five-nights come, and that’s where the teams need to rest their players.

Which is to say, the guidelines have to be paired with better, more spaced out scheduling from the NBA to make it all work.

Friday afternoon fun: Watch James Harden’s 10 best plays from last season

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James Harden had a historic season in Houston.

Since it’s Friday afternoon and your sports viewing options consist of watching guys about to be cut from NFL rosters try to impress, why not check out Harden’s best plays from last season. It’s worth a couple minutes of your time.

Mavericks sign Jeff Withey to one-year contract

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Jeff Withey‘s ex-fiancée accused him of domestic violence, but he was not charged.

That frees him to continue his basketball career, which he’ll do in Dallas.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Mavericks could use another center, even if they re-sign Nerlens Noel. Salah Mejri is the only other true center, though Dirk Nowitzki will now play the position.

Withey is a good rim protector. Just don’t ask him to do anything away from the basket.

Dallas annually brings excess players to training camp and has them compete for regular-season roster spots. Whether or not his salary is guaranteed, Withey will likely fall into that competition.

Marc Gasol: If Grizzlies don’t share my goal of continued growth, we might have to revisit things

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The Grizzlies’ Grit & Grind era has ended.

Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, and Tony Allen appears likely to leave Memphis, too. The Grizzlies are prioritizing younger/cheaper players like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans.

Marc Gasol via Ala Carta, as translated by HoopsHype:

I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.

Gasol has been loyal to Memphis, and his first wish is probably winning there. But Giannis Antetokounmpo put it well: Teams must also do right by their players. Gasol is 32 and doesn’t have much time in his prime left. I see why rebuilding wouldn’t interest him.

But what will he do about it if the Grizzlies don’t prioritize the present? They made their push last summer with a max contract for Chandler Parsons, but because Parsons can’t stay healthy, that deal only inhibits team growth.

Gasol is locked up for two more years before a player option. He doesn’t have much leverage. This is part of the reason LeBron James keeps signing short-term contracts. Gasol doesn’t have the same ability to steer his team in his desired direction

On the potentially bright side, rebuilding teams often don’t have much use for 32-year-olds guaranteed more than $72 million over the following three years. If the fit devolves, Memphis becomes more likely to trade him.

Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s number after Cavaliers game in February

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The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.

Now, we know when.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11

After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.