Cavs Should Forego Rest, Go For The Record

Ed CohenCorrespondent IApril 15, 2009

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 27:   LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after suffering an in injury against the Boston Celtics at the TD Banknorth Garden on February 27, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Cavs Coach Mike Brown announced this morning that LeBron James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Mo Williams, Joe Smith, and Ben Wallace will all sit out tonight’s season finale at home against the 76ers to rest up for the playoffs.

Wallace is hurt, so he couldn’t play. The rest ought to if they are needed to get the win and the record. With a win the Cavs would equal the all-time best home record for a season, 40-1, set by the Boston Celtics of 1985-86.

Many Cavs fans like Brown’s decision. As one wrote, "What's more important for Cavs fans: going 40-1 at home, or winning the title?"

Why not get both?

Playing the starters limited minutes hardly precludes a title run. Yes, there's always the chance of injury, but that exists in all 82 regular-season games. Someone could get hurt. In all likelihood they won't. Don't live in fear. Don’t coach in fear.

Others aren’t.

Kobe Bryant played 26 minutes in a meaningless Lakers win over Utah at home last night. Paul Pierce played 30 minutes in a meaningless road win over the 'Sixers, who have something to play for tonight. A win combined with a Bulls loss would give them the No. 6 seed in the East.

The Cavs’ players and coaches could take enormous pride in going 40-1 at home and tying the all-time record. Only perfection can break that record.

Go for it.It’s not just a record, it’s a confidence builder. And confidence is more important than rest heading into the playoffs.