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Stan Van Gundy Comments on NBA Teams Resting Players

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2016

AUBURN HILLS, MI - JULY 8:  Stan Van Gundy of the Detroit Pistons talks to the media during a press conference on July 8, 2016 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. 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.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Allen Einstein/Getty Images

In the mind of Stan Van Gundy, NBA players shouldn't miss games unless they are injured.

Teams around the NBA have begun resting players to save them for bigger games later in the year, a trend the Detroit Pistons coach won't replicate. Van Gundy discussed his views Wednesday, per Kenny Ducey of Sports Illustrated:

Kenny Ducey @KennyDucey

Stan Van Gundy isn't following the league-wide trend of resting players: "If you try to win every game, you get criticized for that now." https://t.co/Yh05QEbA4w

The Memphis Grizzlies are the latest team to rest key players, holding Mike Conley and Marc Gasol out for the fourth game of the season, which became a 116-80 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"I look at it more as a maintenance program," Grizzlies coach David Fizdale said, per Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal.

While it seems early to keep players off the court, Tuesday's contest was part of a stretch of four games in five days.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is also known for resting his players as the season progresses—at one point earning a $250,000 fine for the organization—for his decision and not informing the league or the Spurs' opponent in a timely fashion.

Conversely, the Pistons have not shown the same type of proclivity for benching players when healthy. Four different starters played in at least 76 games last season, with All-Star Andre Drummond playing in 81 games.

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Of course, when the team is battling for one of the last spots in the playoffs—Detroit finished with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference last season—there really aren't too many games you can afford to throw away. Van Gundy's players will clearly be asked to play and compete for a win every night. 

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