Irving, Lillard star as Spurs win

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 NY and Atlanta, came back home to face Boston and then went to Minnesota the day before visiting San Antonio.

James defended his coach when he was asked about the whole ordeal after the team's win Sunday.

The Cavs aren't necessarily locked into the Eastern Conference one seed right now as they only lead the Boston Celtics by two games.

"But coach's job is to figure out a way to get a team to compete for a championship, and not compete for a game. It's tough to get there when you don't have time to work on it".

"We have to protect our product", he said, per ESPN.com's Kevin Arnovitz. On Friday, they come back East - wrapping up the trip in Charlotte against Kemba Walker and the Hornets. This is nearly always a decision by management (the GM, team trainers, and the coach) and the players are informed they are sitting. "Kevin Love is rehabbing from knee surgery, so he's not going to play both ends of a back-to-back".

"I can't stress enough how important rest is, man", Irving said. Griffin gave her an honest answer and said, "We're very sensitive to the fact that from a fan's standpoint it hurts". Love's having his best season since coming to Cleveland, and doing whatever possible to maintain that efficiency is high on the Cavaliers' list of priorities. "It is really great for me to be on the court against the best players in the world". That said, it all starts with the schedule - if the National Basketball Association wants to promote Saturday games like they are playoff games, then they need to schedule them like they're playoff games with rest on either side for teams. "The more he plays, the more and more he is going to get more comfortable out there", James said (via Winters). "We literally had one guy rest tonight and everybody else was reasonably injured". "We have to treat those games like they're afternoon games and you don't play the night before, and you don't play the next night after".

  • Julie Sanders