Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was fine in November by the NBA for resting players.
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was fine in November by the NBA for resting players.

The period for resting players in the NBA is upon us

After the Heat's 27-game winning streak ended, James and Wade played once in the next five games. Who can blame them?

As the season winds down, star players become less visible. Not because they have been kidnapped or succumbed to injury or escaped to launch that hip-hop career, but because many teams prefer their top players get some rest ahead of the play-offs.

It is a deft manoeuvre by clubs who already have secured a post-season position, although the NBA disapproves, knowing how much money fans pay for court-side seats with the expectation of seeing stars.

Gregg Popovich, the San Antonio Spurs coach, and Pat Riley, the Miami Heat president, are old hands at this, and are pushing the boundaries.

Back in November, Popovich sent home, for rest, leading players Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili instead of keeping them for the final game of a long road trip, against Miami. The league fined the Spurs US$250,000 (Dh918,000).

When the Heat played the Spurs last week in San Antonio, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Mario Chambers were held out. Nagging injuries were alleged and the Heat were not fined, and they won the game, anyway.

For years, the coaches of teams safely qualified for the play-offs have reduced the work load for stars. It is not fun for fans paying to watch a star-less late-season game, but the NBA created the situation by making it all about the play-offs.

After the Heat's 27-game winning streak ended, James and Wade played once in the next five games. Who can blame them?

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Ali Benflis, opposition leader and main rival to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika speaks to the press after casting his vote in the presidential elections at a polling station in Algiers on. Former prime minister Benflis ran against Bouteflika in 2004 but lost heavily, charging the vote was rigged 10 years ago and has said fraud will be his ‘main adversary’ during the election. Patrick Baz / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world, April 17

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 The new Bentley GT Speed convertible on display at a press event of the New York International Auto Show. Jason Szenes / EPA

In pictures: Hot cars at New York International Auto Show

With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the US car industry. Here are some of the vehicles to be shown in this year’s edition.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National