HOUSTON — Put Mike D’Antoni down in the camp of those against having mass rest nights for star players.
On the night that LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love all did not make the trip to Memphis, the Kings arrived at the Toyota Center in Houston and coach Dave Joerger announced that star center DeMarcus Cousins would simply sit and watch his already overmatched team play the Rockets.
“My thought on holding people out en masse, I’m not really for it,” D’Antoni said before Wednesday night’s game. “You think of the kid that travels three hours to see somebody and they don’t show up. It’s tough. So it’s complicated. I know every coach is trying to do the best for his team and trying to win. He has to do what he thinks is right to win, the league may a have to look at it and figure it out.”
Sacramento coach Dave Joerger said he was giving Cousins a rest after playing four games in six days, where he averaged 34.4 minutes, 24.8 points and 13 rebounds.
“There’s just different points in the season, it looks like he’s carrying quite a load, and I don’t mean by weight, I mean by just playing,” said Joerger. “He’s getting (36) the other night, 15, 16 rebounds, he’s got to do this, he’s got to do that, he’s got to take care of all this and that. Sometimes it’s just good to get a break.
“When you have the opportunity, in this case, three days of rest (before their next game). There are opportunities to do it when you can maximize the number of days of rest and give guys a chance to recharge mentally and physically.”
Fran Blinebury has covered the NBA since 1977. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.
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