Garnett, Pierce out for Celtics against Heat Friday. Are too many players getting rested?

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Should NBA stars be rested at the end of the season?

It’s been a topic this year, in part because the Heat have been doing it and some fans will look for any excuse to rip the Heat. In part it’s because David Stern fined the San Antonio Spurs $250,000 earlier in the season for doing it (on national television and without warning). And in part because the NBA is a star-driven league, if the stars aren’t playing will some fans not buy tickets?

Well, it’s not just the Heat doing it — both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will be out Friday when the Celtics play the Heat, Boston announced.

Sore left ankles? I’m sure they are sore, but this is really code for “we don’t want a fine from Stern so we’ve announced it early and given you a medical reason.” If this game mattered they would both be out there.

I’m sure at least a couple of the Heat’s big three will have the night off as well.

I don’t have a problem with this — coaches are doing what is best for their teams in the playoffs, getting healthy and rested. If you want to make the marketing argument — the NBA sells it’s stars, that’s what people pay to see — I’d say that the NBA’s biggest and best marketing and that’s where I want the players healthy and rested. That’s best for NBA marketing.

And I see no way to police this, like it or not. Coaches will just go with the injury call, like the Celtics have.