Doc Rivers calls on National Basketball Association to reduce back-to-back games

Russell Westbrook is a top MVP contender. Kathy Willens  AP

Russell Westbrook is a top MVP contender. Kathy Willens AP

This is the second time in two weeks that stars have sat out of prime time network TV games. Still, Cleveland's no-show made waves due to its timing: Last Saturday, the Spurs blew out the Warriors 107-85 with Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson all resting. It turned out to be a costly game for the Cavaliers, they ended up losing to the Clippers. And if the Lakers get the No. 1 overall draft pick, do they draft UCLA's Lonzo Ball? So I think we have to treat those games like they're afternoon games and you don't play the night before and then you don't play the next night after. You're going to have back-to-backs.

"But coach's job is to figure out a way to get a team to compete for a championship, and not compete for a game".

"There is a fan base that probably bought tickets tonight to see LeBron James play for the first time", Rivers said. I really do. I feel bad for the league, but it is what it is for us, from an injury standpoint. If they played, there would be noticeably less conversation.

Obviously it sucks at times because certain games you only play in certain cities once, or you play certain teams once on their home floor, but for me personally, I want to play in every game. "I think coaches are taking responsibility, trying to look after their players, make sure they get the proper rest". And I did it the other night in Denver.

If it were David Blatt attempting to rest James with no valid reason, the result might have been different. The second-year coach chuckled and quipped, "I want him too", sounding like a man who knew the price of preparing his franchise for another deep June run was the occasional 30-point loss in March. How many wins does it cost the Cavs if LeBron plays 35 minutes instead of almost 38? James had eight past year.

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Forward/center Kristaps Porzingis sat out the setback to the Nets with a thigh bruise, but he is expected to play against the Clippers, according to Newsday. "Fourth Quarter" mode late in L.A. - hitting all three shots he attempted, including both treys, and sinking all six free throws to finish with 14 points in the period. Now, Kyrie's having the best year of his young career with 25.5 points a night on 47.8 percent shooting, and the rest clearly did something for the three because they came back Sunday and pulled out a nail-biting victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Cavaliers didn't play LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love against the Clippers.

ESPN also mentioned in its report that the National Basketball Association office called Cavaliers GM David Griffin due to the team's decision to keep James, Irving and Love out against the Clippers.

"Now these games on Saturday night allow the scheduling guys to [have teams] play the night before". Cavaliers forward Kevin Love was out of Saturday's game likely because he just returned from knee surgery on Thursday. It's getting better but it hasn't come along like I'd hoped. "But yeah, it's more hard this season than it has been in the past". Then the real stars take over when it matters most. "It's not work - it's called playing".

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