I think you know my feelings on the Cavs giving LeBron the night off in Chicago on Thursday: Itís a blow to the integrity of the game as well as a sign of disrespect.
Itís wrong, in my opinion, because it screws with a playoff race and there are other, non-essential games (like tonight against Indiana) that he could have bailed on.
And watching that one unfold with Mo Williams taking a series of increasing stupid and selfish fourth-quarter shots; and Anderson Varejao Ė ANDERSON FREAKING VAREJAO Ė taking the potential game-winner in the final two seconds Ė it only affirmed my opinion.
The truth, however, is that the Raptors have no recourse. They can complain, and Iím sure they will, but whatís the league going to do? They canít change the outcome of the game, I guess they could levy a fine but thatís only money and the damage has been done.
Now, the Bulls may have won the game anyway Ė although watching them miss four straight free throws in the final 10 seconds makes me feel a bit dubious about that Ė but thatís not the point.
My point is the Cavs owed it to the playoff race, the league, the Raptors and the game to play their best players in that game. Had they given LeBron Tuesday night off, fine; let him sit out Thursday, too. They didnít, so he should have played last night.