Doc Rivers told reporters before Friday night’s contest against the Suns in Phoenix that Kevin Garnett would be inactive, and that Jeff Green would get the start in his place.
The reason? Rest.
Rivers has been hinting that he’d like to rest Garnett in upcoming games and, after Garnett looked gassed at times against the Lakers on Wednesday, he realized he may have waited too long.
“I was telling our coaches after the Denver game, it’s sacrilegious not to play KG against the Lakers, but it was a thought,” said Rivers. “And watching him play, you’re sitting there kicking yourself thinking, ‘That should have been the night for him,’ because it was a back-to-back. It is what it is.”
“He was fine with it, which told me that it was the right thing,” said Rivers. “He didn’t put up a fight at all, that tells you we were probably a game or two too late. We should have done it a game earlier.”
Boston is in the middle of a West Coast road trip that will see the team play five games in seven days. The Celtics have dropped the first two games of it, losing back to back game to the Nuggets and the Lakers to begin the second half of the season.
Rivers went on to say that he would sit Garnett a few more times before the end of the regular season, and may do the same with some of his other players if he sees that they could use the rest.