The Celtics have a 3 game cushion on the fading-fast Sixers and have a grueling schedule coming up. There's a reasonable question to be asked: Should the Celtics look to get rest for their veterans or go for the best record and seeding possible? Personally I think there's a fine line there. They have to play well enough to get a good enough seed without wearing down and wearing out the vets.
The Spurs are in first place in their division (by a lot) and second in the West behind the Thunder (by only a couple of games). So they are in a slightly different spot. Still, it is an viable comparison considering their aging stars.
With a playoff spot locked up and a grueling stretch ahead, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich called it a "no brainer" to rest stars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. That was fine by a Utah Jazz team still trying to punch a ticket to the postseason. After losing to the Spurs by 10 on Sunday night in San Antonio, the Jazz (30-28) rebounded with a 91-84 victory in Monday's rematch in Salt Lake City.
So will Doc follow suit? He's going to take the wait-and-see approach.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers has said health is more important than seedings, but even he's unsure how to properly navigate this stretch, particularly with Boston set to play five games in six nights starting with a visit to South Beach on Tuesday night. "We’re just going to wait and see how guys react," said Rivers, who admits it's a bit of an eyeball test with his players. He has kept a sense of humor about the situation, joking, "The way the Chicago game went [Thursday], I wish I had saw that before the game, I would have sat them all. That would have been terrific."
Side question: If you were going to take a game off (rest lots of vets at once) which would it be? I like the idea of staying sharp vs. the Heat but maybe taking off the middle of the back-to-back-to-back games? Or, depending on how the first few games go, maybe taking a couple of games off. You never know against the younger teams if our subs might pick up a win or two anyway.