The Nets Will Rest Six Starters on Wednesday Against the Bulls, Who Are Fighting a Playoff Spot
The Bulls, Pacers, and Heat are all fighting for the final two Eastern Conference playoff spots. The Pacers currently sit in 7th place, one game ahead of the Bull and Heat. All three teams have one game left to play. All three will play that game at home. All three really need to win. But for one of these teams, winning will be a hell of a lot easier.
The Heat? They have to play the playoff bound Wizards. The Pacers? They have to play the playoff bound Hawks.
The Bulls? They have to play the NBA-worst Nets, who are a miserable 20-61. And to make things even easier, the Nets have announced they will sit six players for the final game of the season.
Three of the six are perfectly healthy, including starters Jeremy Lin and Brook Lopez and backup power forward Trevor Booker. The other three—Quincy Acy, Joe Harris, and Sean Kilpatrick—are injured.
The reaction on Twitter was not kind:
What exactly are members of the #Nets resting FOR?? Do they need to be fresh for their tee times on Thursday? Utterly ridiculous.
— Amy Lawrence (@ALawRadio) April 12, 2017
The Nets are taking the piss resting their players.
It’s unprofessional and a slap in the face to the league and it’s fans.
— Jason (@SportsJO13) April 12, 2017
The Nets have lost 61 games and have players resting lmaooooo
— Bobby Dumpcum Jr. (@MegaWuBanga) April 11, 2017
The Nets resting players tonight is a joke. NBA needs to do something about this. Affects playoff race and Nets have all summer to rest.
— Howie Schwab (@howieschwab) April 12, 2017
So why are the Nets resting two key starters in a game with major playoff implications, albeit not for them? That’s a very good question, and one to which nobody has the answer.
Neither Lin nor Lopez are nursing injuries. They aren’t playing back-to-back games. And losing one more game will not improve the Nets’ draft status. In the spirit of fair play, the Nets could be starting the best players available. They’re just not.
Fans in Miami and Indianapolis probably smell a conspiracy. They surely must be wondering if the Bulls and Nets made some shady deal, or if the NBA is pulling strings to get the Bulls in the playoffs to improve television ratings.
But the reality is the Nets are just a garbage organization that does all sorts of dumb things without cause. Sitting their starters for the final game of the season is just another example.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]