The NBA tweaked its rules in the offseason in order to combat teams from resting players en masse. Commissioner Adam Silver can fine teams $100,000 this season if he determines they’re resting healthy players for either a nationally televised game or a marquee matchup on the road.
Lue — who was one of the coaches who chose to rest his stars all at the same time on several occasions last season, prompting the league to take issue with the practice — said the new rules don’t apply to Sunday, considering it’s an exhibition.
Not for preseason, Lue said. I don’t think it’s a must that guys play. Throughout the course of the regular season, of course we’ve got to abide by the rules.
Cleveland started Kay Felder, Cedi Osman, Kyle Korver, Jeff Green and Ante Zizic against the Wizards.
Reformatting the playoffs is something we’ll continue to look at, Silver said before a preseason game between the Golden State Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves at Mercedes Benz Arena. I think though it would require revisiting the regular-season schedule as well. As I’ve said before, we don’t play a balanced schedule now, as I’m sure you know. And for those that don’t, that means that teams in the East play each other more than they play teams in the West. And our feeling is, if we were going to seed 1-16, we would need to play a balanced schedule to make it fair for everyone if we were going to seed 1-16 in the playoffs. It may be that as we continue to experiment with the number of days over which we can schedule 82 games that it will create more of an opportunity for a balanced schedule.
Silver also reiterated that the league is not tied to an 82-game schedule forever. The league is starting the season a week earlier this year to carve out more rest for players in the schedule.
I did try to dissuade him a little bit, but it’s all good, Brown said. We are going to figure out something, some other nickname we’re going to come up with. We’ve already been talking about it actually. He [messaged] me [on Snapchat] last night and was like, ‘Man, we have to come up with something.’ I guess he looks at me as the brains of the operation, so I’m like, ‘All right. I got you.’
Unfortunately, Brown and Tatum’s basketball skills are, at least thus far, better than their marketing skills.
The names that we were thinking were pretty bad though, Brown said. We had ‘Bread and Butter.’ Terrible. We had ‘Peanut Butter and Jelly’ — ‘PB and J’ is what he said. It wasn’t very good.
Tatum confirmed that the nickname hunt has turned up nothing but duds. He figures it’s just one more thing he needs to work on this season.
So we know Sabathia isn’t going to throw more than 75 pitches — if that many. Sabathia had a 3.67 ERA in the first inning and 5.00 in the second, so the Indians need to jump on him early.
The matchup that matters most: Aaron Judge versus Kluber. Judge is 1-for-15 in the series with 12 strikeouts. Judge’s big weakness during the season was sliders — he hit .153 against them. Eight of those 12 strikeouts have come on curveballs or sliders, with 11 coming on 2-2 and 3-2 pitches, so Judge has been very patient in trying to seek out his pitch.
Will Judge adjust by trying to attack fastballs earlier in the count? The Indians have thrown him six first-pitch fastballs in his 19 plate appearances. But if Kluber suspects Judge will be hunting fastballs, does he start him off with his curveball or slider/cutter and risk falling behind in the count? In Game 2, they faced each other three times, with Kluber starting him off with three different pitches. Judge walked twice and struck out looking on a 3-2 fastball. Judge doesn’t have to hit a home run, but Kluber has to keep him off base.