Doc Rivers Says NBA Scheduling Must Be Addressed After Cavaliers Rest Stars

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 08: Head coach Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers looks on during the first quarter of the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 8, 2017 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated the Clippers 107-91. 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 Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

After benefiting from the Cleveland Cavaliers' decision to rest LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love on Saturday night, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers called for the NBA to address its scheduling of nationally televised games.

Rivers' Clippers defeated a stripped-down Cavs squad 108-78 in a game that aired on ABC.

According to ESPN.com's Kevin Arnovitz, Rivers said the NBA should alter its schedule so nationally televised games are not a part of back-to-backs:

We have to protect our product. 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. ... I think we have to treat those games like they're afternoon games, and you don't play the night before. And then you don't play the next night after.

With the Cavs scheduled to play the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night, general manager David Griffin was among those who made the decision to rest the Big Three.

Per ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne, Griffin said he didn't want Irving to play both games of a back-to-back because the All-Star point guard had left Cleveland's previous game with a knee injury. Griffin added that he also didn't want Love to play two days in a row on the heels of the big man's return from knee surgery.

With Irving and Love out, Griffin said he couldn't have LeBron take on the Clippers "by himself," according to Shelburne.

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Cleveland's choice came one week after the Golden State Warriors sat Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala in an ABC game against the San Antonio Spurs.

Like the Warriors, the Cavs essentially favored rest over their place in the standings, as Saturday's loss shrunk their lead over the Boston Celtics for first place in the Eastern Conference to just 1.5 games.