NBA Weekend Warm-Up: Will Cavs Rest Stars This Saturday Too?

cavaliers big 3

Jason Lake

Thursday, March 23, 2017 4:53 PM GMT

Thursday, Mar. 23, 2017 4:53 PM GMT

The NBA playoffs are coming up very soon. Some teams have already made it in; will they rest their starters this weekend or will they play hard enough to be decent NBA picks?

The powers that be brought this upon themselves. NBA commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo to the league’s owners Monday, unhappy with the way teams are resting their top players down the stretch and messing things up for their “fans and business partners.” The hidden message: Teams aren’t giving enough notice when they decide to hand out DNP-CD passes and they’re messing up the NBA odds in the process. It’s usually a good idea to wait until shootaround to see who’s active before placing your bets, but with the playoffs just around the corner, it’s even more important for this weekend’s games.
 

Friday: Hawks At Bucks (p.m. ET, NBA-TV)

Both these teams are in a dogfight to make the Eastern Conference playoffs, so all hands should be on deck – except injured Atlanta starters Paul Millsap and Kent Bazemore. The Hawks are winless this season without the All-Star Millsap (+2.7 BPM) in the lineup. He's dealing with a sore left knee. The Hawks are fifth in the East at press time and just 3.5 games ahead of ninth-place Detroit; the Bucks have vaulted into seventh after an impressive late-season surge, despite the loss of forward Jabari Parker (+0.3 BPM) to a torn ACL in early February.

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Saturday: Wizards At Cavaliers (7:30 p.m. ET, NBA-TV)

Cleveland got Silver’s hackles up by resting all its big stars in Saturday’s 108-78 loss to the L.A. Clippers. Heck, the Cavs didn’t even play Larry Sanders. They have already clinched a playoff spot and have had injury problems most of the year, so don’t be surprised if they keep this up. The Wizards are on the cusp of clinching, they’re healthy and they’d probably like to avoid falling into the No. 4 seed in the East, which would put them on track to meet Cleveland in the second round. Perish the thought.
 


 

Sunday: Thunder At Rockets (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Showdown between MVP candidates Russell Westbrook and James Harden. The Rockets just nailed down a playoff spot in the West and they’re pretty much stuck with the No. 3 seed, so there’s every motivation for them to take it easy from here. The Thunder will make it in, too, but they might want to keep pushing so they finish higher than seventh and avoid facing either Golden State or San Antonio right off the bat. Make your NBA picks accordingly, and may the sphere be with you this weekend.
 

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