Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt said he wants the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, while LeBron James said he was not as concerned with the team’s seeding, Dave McMenamin of ESPN reports.
With 13 games remaining in the season, Blatt said his priority is to secure the team's playoff seed, but he will also be mindful of resting players for the postseason.
“We got to finish in second place,” Blatt said Monday.
“So we're thinking about that,” Blatt continued. “Where and if there is an opportunity to rest guys, we will."
If the Cavaliers hold on to the No. 2 seed, they would likely face a first-round playoff matchup against either the Pacers, Heat, Celtics or Hornets, who are in a tight race for the final two playoff spots. If the Cavaliers fall to the No. 3 seed, they would likely face the Bucks in the first round of the playoffs.
James, however, said he is more focused on making sure the team is healthy entering the playoffs. The 30-year-old James has battled a variety of injuries this season and has missed a career-high 11 games this season.
“The coaching staff, if that's what they want, but for me, I never play for seeding. I just play,” he said. “And wherever at the end of the season we land, I'm ready. Just get me in the playoffs. Get me in the playoffs, I feel like I can win on anybody’s floor. I feel like I can win at home. I'm that confident in my ability and our team's ability. So I've never in my 12-year career played for seeding. That's just not how I work.”
The Cavaliers had their four-game winning streak snapped on Monday by the Miami Heat. They host the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.
- Paul Palladino