Last night, before the #Cavaliers-Clippers game, the Cavaliers coaching staff decided to rest the big three. Kyrie Irving was suffering from some knee tightness, forcing the Cavs to sit him for the game. Kevin Love had just returned from an injury break, and the Cavs don't want to overdo him by playing him in both games of back to back. Kyle Korver also still has foot soreness, so was also chosen to rest. But LeBron... well, LeBron wasn't injured or hurt, neither was he sick as he had been a few weeks ago. The Cavs GM David Griffin and the coaching staff decided to additionally rest LeBron James, as the Cavs were already very short-handed going into the game. Coach Lue stated: "Not to go out there and try to carry the whole load by himself and playing more minutes." Even though LeBron is fairly used to carrying the load throughout his career, the organization thought the best idea would be to sideline LeBron for this game despite King James wanting to play. LBJ was reportedly "upset" and "mad" he had to sit it out.
Cavs are awful when LeBron doesn't suit up
In the last three seasons, since #Lebron James made his return to the Cavaliers. Cleveland is 4-21 without LeBron James playing. That's a winning percentage of .160%, which is worse than any current NBA teams' winning percentage right now in the NBA. Meaning the Cavs without LeBron James are the worst team in the NBA. But with LeBron James are one of the best teams in the NBA. This season alone is no different, Cleveland Cavaliers are now 0-6 without LeBron James in the lineup. No injury has prevented LeBron from playing in those six games this season, however, five rest games and one game out with strep throat sickness.
Are rest games worth it in the long run?
Studies have proven that #Resting games late in the season can carry over to more success in the postseason, and while LeBron James and Cavalier fans don't like watching a game, especially a nationally televised game without LeBron. Last season, many believe this theory was proven when the Cavaliers would often rest players throughout the regular season, and in the playoffs, they were on fire and went all the way to win the championship. While the Golden State Warriors did not rest their players, instead they attempted and managed to break the regular season record with 73 wins. But this may have taken a toll on their bodies, showed when a few players were having injury problems in the NBA finals after having a healthy regular season. This, in turn, led to the Warriors falling in the NBA Finals, to the healthier and more energized, Cleveland Cavaliers.
While the players may win in this situation, by being healthier in the most important part of the season, the fans who buy tickets to games on which they rest, and the TV companies who televise the games, both lose. There will continue to be the discussion about how the NBA can allow there to be fairness in these situations for the fans and TV companies.