CHICAGO -- As a player, said Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles, “I practiced all the time” and admitted Wednesday that the current trend of athletes looking for rest is tough to accept.
"More and more every year in all sports, rest is becoming bigger," the former Bulls coach said. "Nobody wants to practice, and I think that’s a terrible, terrible mistake and a terrible approach to have. So the more it’s talked about, the more it’s discussed, the more players in all sports say ‘I need rest.’ "
That said, particularly as an NBA coach, Skiles said he understands the unique circumstances that this season’s compressed post-lockout schedule presents.
"We're having [the All-Star] break, and we come out with four games in five nights right out of the break," he said. "That's the difference really this year than a regular schedule when you might have four games in five nights and then three games in six nights.
"It seems like this year, it's four games in five nights, one day, and then four games in five nights [again]. It just keeps going and going. And we're all nicked up. We're beat up and all teams are. So it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to go down to the practice court for an hour and 15 minutes and knock heads when guys are all beat up."
The Bucks had 10 players in uniform against the Bulls at the United Center Wednesday night with Andrew Bogut [left ankle fracture], Drew Gooden [right wrist sprain] and Tobias Harris [right shoulder contusion] injured.
"Typically what you would do, as the season goes on, you play all these games and you have slippage in an area or two, so then you have a practice day," Skiles said. "You’re not trying to kill anybody but you say 'Hey guys, look, we're not [doing this] or whatever the two things are,' so you will practice for a half hour, 45 minutes, shoot for a half hour and get ready for the opponent for 15-20 minutes.
"Any time you have slippage now, it's very hard to catch up. It just keeps slipping and slipping and slipping. It's very hard to put your finger in the dyke. It's the nature of what we're doing but there's no reason to really complain about it. We're all going through the same thing. The best teams for 66 games would have been the best teams for 82 games barring injuries or whatever. The cream is rising to the top anyway."