Cavaliers need Big Three to overcome rock-bottom Lakers

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

We can't have it both ways in sports (or life), yet we insist on trying.

After resting his team's three stars during a nationally televised game on Saturday, Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue had no time to hear criticism of his decision.

A day after Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue chose to rest James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in his team's 108-78 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on ABC, the four-time MVP scoffed at the idea that player rest is hurting the league's appeal, and framed it as a simple reality of the sport.

But Cleveland Cavaliers coach Ty Lue's decision, unlike Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr's last week, was prompted by injuries.

Announcers Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson seemed to take Cavs' absences as a personal affront. "Who is protecting the fans?"

"Well, I've been part of six straight Finals and every single season and every single Finals has been bigger and bigger and bigger and better and better and more people have tuned in", James said.

Van Gundy's ABC colleague Mark Jackson called it an "absolute joke", and the National Basketball Association was none too impressed, either.

Doc Rivers is torn on the issue.

Wearing the hard decision with the expression on his face, asked Walton the team had figured out what was next with regards to Nwaba: "No, we have not".

"We were out of sync a little bit, but they shot the ball extremely well", James said. "Yeah, they were not happy".

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"(The Cavs) are paying me to win a championship.

"I'm 100 percent with (fans concerns)", Irving said. We literally had one guy rest tonight, and everybody else was reasonably injured. So he understands why the Cavs sat LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

Does James have a fair point?

Fil-American guard Jordan Clarkson had 19 points, Brandon Ingram scored 18, while Julius Randle and Ivica Zubac had 10 points each.

Players getting rested is a normal thing nowadays. "We needed two days in between each game".

David Stern tried this back in 2012, fining the Spurs $250,000 for sitting Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green against Miami.

The Wine and Gold continued chipping away at L.A. - tying the game on LeBron's runner with 5:06 to play and re-taking the lead on Kyrie's sixth triple of the night less than a minute later.

But as the coach of a perennial contender, Popovich absolutely acted in the best interests of his franchise.

The Cavaliers are obviously not the first team to face criticism for resting players during a game shown on national TV.

"He was mad, but I just thought for him it was the right decision".

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