The "rest vs. rust" debate of rest and playoff scheduling

From time to time, there is the “rest vs. rust” debate where one side will argue that it’s better for a team to get a lot of rest before facing its next opponent, while the other side argues that doing so will get the team out of sync and leave them “rusty” when the next opponent comes.
I have always been a firm believer in the “rest is better” camp; I would always prefer that my team have swept its opponent in 4 games and get over a week’s rest while the opposing team’s series goes the full 7 exhausting games and has little time to rest before the next series. I do understand the “don’t get rusty” argument, but feel that rest simply outweighs any rust danger regardless.

In a single game elimination format such as the NFL or the NCAA basketball tournament, I’d prefer a team keeps playing. With the series type playoffs, I think rust is not as big a deal. After the first game it is knocked off anyway.

There is virtually no issue in the single-game elimination format. Except for the play-in games everybody has about the same schedule in the NCAA basketball tournament. In the NFL you get a one-week bye if you’re one of the top two teams. But NFL teams are used to one weeks’ rest between games and even have a bye week in the season. I’d think there’s virtually no issue in those two formats at all.

In baseball the biggest advantage might be being able to rest all your pitchers and making sure you start game one with your ace and your bullpen rested.

I think it really depends on your team. If you’re the Spurs or the Broncos and your best players are experienced vets, they benefit more from rest. If you’re the Panthers and you’ve got a lot of young talent, you want them to keep playing and stay hot.