The Boston Celtics have far and away the best record in the Association, and it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that they will have the luxury of homecourt advantage throughout the Playoffs.
They basically have nothing to play for at this point; the guys are accustomed to playing with one another, they’ve played well in big games, and the rotation is set. So, it’s probably time for a little R&R, right? Wrong.
“I don’t believe in that a whole bunch,” Rivers said of keeping players out. “As a player, I always laughed when they said, ‘Hey, you guys are in (the playoffs). How about sitting out two games?’
“We’ve played 78 games, and I sit two and I’m going to be rested? The notion of that to me is ridiculous. Now, if you have an injury or something like that, then absolutely you sit out…But other than that, I think rhythm is far more important.”
While I get where Rivers is coming from on this – it’s critically important that his team enter the Playoffs as sharp and focused as possible – I hope he’ll have the good sense to play his starters (and particularly, the Big Three) reduced minutes in the season’s final games. Because should a key player get hurt during these final, meaningless games, it might not be too well-received in Beantown.