CLEVELAND (AP) - On the final day, the Nets rested.
Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd sat all of his starters and some key reserves for the season finale against the Cavaliers so they’re ready for the playoffs.
The Nets entered Wednesday night’s game with the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, but could drop to No. 6 with a loss and if Washington wins in Boston.
Kidd is sitting Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson and Shaun Livingston, and the Nets will dress just eight players. He’ll start Jorge Gutierrez, Marquis Teague, Andray Blatche, Marcus Thornton - a group that made a combined seven starts this season.
Kidd quickly dismissed the idea he was intentionally trying to lose the game so the Nets (44-37) would avoid playing Chicago in the first round of the playoffs. Brooklyn lost to the Bulls in the opening round a year ago.
“I don’t catch everybody what they say or write,” he said before changing the subject.
The Nets, who were 11 games under .500 on Dec. 31, have lost three of four. They were beaten at home by the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.
Kidd will head into his first postseason as a coach with a roster loaded with playoff experience, which makes the Nets a dangerous draw.
“I’ve been blessed to have a great group of guys throughout the slow start, the turnaround and so to have guys who won championships and know what it takes to win a championship in that locker room, to be able to start on the road - all that comes with experience,” Kidd said. “We’ve covered all those questions.”