Hey, they didn’t rest players back when he played. Of course, they also wore shoes with little support, didn’t workout in the offseason, and if you suffered a knee injury that likely was your career.
Decidedly old-school Nets coach Lionel Hollins can’t afford to rest any of his players right now, they are in a fight just to make the playoffs. They need every win they can get — and they’ve won four in a row and eight out of 10.
But even if he could rest players, Lionel Hollins said he wouldn’t, reports Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
Studies have shown that players perform better when rested, both during the season and into the playoffs. Which is why teams locked into the postseason are resting guys right now. Or you can take the anecdotal evidence of the well-rested San Antonio Spurs having been to two straight NBA Finals, winning one, because their coach took care of them during the season.
Of course, this was part of the issue back in Memphis — Hollins believed what he believed, evidence to the contrary be damned.
The resting of players has become a trend — or an epidemic, if you prefer — in the NBA. The only way to change it is to build more rest into the schedule. While we can all dream of seeing 72 or 66 games or whatever, we know that the billionaires and millionaires are not willing to sacrifice the dollars to make it happen. Which means the approach Adam Silver is taking as Commissioner is really the only smart one: Reduce the preseason, start the regular season a week or two earlier, and work to eliminate four games in five nights situations. Cut down on back-to-backs.
Do that, and there will be less rest of players. But the fact is this is part of the NBA now, just like better shoes and offseason workouts.