UPDATE: The Cavaliers official preview does not have James, Irving or Love listed as starters. They’re likely sitting, gang.
Well, the good feelings that came from functionally locking up the first overall seed in the Eastern Conference are probably gone. Joe Vardon is reporting that the Cavaliers plan to rest LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving against Miami tonight and cede control of playoff ceding destiny back to Boston.
It’s a move that a couple beat guys hinted at, and it’s telling about how little the Cavaliers care about seeding that they’re willing to punt on the one seed. Boston closes their season against the Nets and the Bucks, while the Cavaliers will finish off against Toronto. My guess is that they’ll also rest in game 82 against the Raptors, which means unless the Celtics crap the bed as bad as the Cavaliers have, Cleveland will start these playoffs as the two seed.
The real bummer in all of this is for the Toronto Raptors, who played their asses off over the last several weeks to earn the right to avoid the Cavaliers side of the bracket and now stare down a Cavaliers matchup in Round 2.
On the Cavaliers end, it’s fine to rest, I suppose. It at least indicates that they’re sticking to some sort of plan, and even without home court in the Eastern Conference Finals, I don’t think this team is worried about not making it to what still feels like a destined three-match with the Golden State Warriors, against whom they were never going to have home-court advantage.
All we ever hear about is how the Cavaliers don’t care about the regular season, and they proved it. Alas, it’s almost time for the Playoffs.