I don't think the NBA can do anything about it. At the end of the day, it sucks at times where certain guys have to rest, but certain guys need rest.
And it's a long, strenuous season and the NBA does a great job of putting the schedule together as best as they can. You're going to have back-to-backs. You're going to have certain games where certain things fall on certain nights, but a coach's job is to figure out a way for their team to compete for a championship, not compete for a game.
James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love all sat against the Clippers in a game the Cavaliers lost 108-78.
Speaking to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Cavaliers general manager David Griffin heard from the NBA "seven minutes after it was announced" James, Irving and Love would not play, and the league was "not happy."
While Griffin seemed to understand the NBA's perspective, he had a pointed response:
Ramona Shelburne @ramonashelburne
What about the league's concern re fans and ABC paying a lot of $? Griff said, "Yeah, and they’re paying me to win a championship."2017-3-19 04:23:05
After his team won, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said the NBA needs to look into how it schedules games on consecutive days.
"We have to protect our product," he said, per ESPN.com's Kevin Arnovitz. "It's hard. It's impossible, if you actually knew what went into scheduling, but the look of back-to-back ABC national games—it's not good."
It's worth noting the Cavaliers had Friday off before their game against the Clippers after playing the Utah Jazz on Thursday. Their game against the Lakers, who play in the same arena as the Clippers, was the second of back-to-back games.
When the Golden State Warriors rested Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson for an ABC prime-time game against the San Antonio Spurs the previous week, they were finishing a stretch of five games in seven days in which they traveled to New York and Atlanta, came back home to face Boston and then went to Minnesota the day before visiting San Antonio.
The NBA obviously wants to put its best teams and players on the prime-time stage to generate ratings and interest in the sport during the course of a long regular season.
Teams, especially ones like the Cavs and Warriors that will be prominent playoff contenders, are trying to do right by their players to ensure they are in peak physical condition for what they hope will be a long postseason run.