Blogtable: Who’s Running on Empty?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

We’re near the end of a crazy, compacted season. Give us a player who has been heavily leaned-on during this breakneck schedule who may be in danger of flaming out in the playoffs.

Steve Aschburner: The easy answer would be Kobe Bryant, given his minutes, his advanced years and his usage rate for the Lakers. Baron Davis might experience a shock to his system, taking on the stretch-drive load that the Knicks need now with Jeremy Lin sidelined. But neither of those is my final answer. I’m going with Chicago forward Luol Deng, who is trying to make it through most of the season, whatever playoff push the Bulls enjoy and the 2012 London Olympics playing with a torn ligament in his left wrist. Surgery would have wiped out most or all of that for Deng, the most used (39.0 mpg) and versatile tool in Tom Thibodeau‘s belt. But just because Kobe played through something similar once doesn’t mean most mortals can do that. Deng feels it every time he falls or takes a whack on that wrist, and it has affected some of his moves on the court.

Fran Blinebury: If Kobe has a few more 3-for-20 shooting nights and the Lakers lose in the playoffs, is he the “flame-out” you’re looking for?  Can Lamar Odom qualify as a “flame-out” if he’s been just a soggy pack of matches all season? If you’re looking for someone who needs to stop playing games, get his head screwed on straight and deliver in the playoffs, well, there’s that infamous 3-point shooter Mr. Bynum.  He could be the difference in the Lakers making a real run at The Finals or crashing and burning early.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Bad trend for Jameer Nelson: He has shot worse than 38 percent in two of the last three playoffs. Bad trend for the Magic.

Shaun Powell: I wonder about Chris Paul, never accused of being the sturdiest player in his career, continuing to play at a high level without Chauncey Billups. He does have Randy Foye and Mo Williams for relief, but neither can run the team or involve teammates quite like Paul; the Clippers suffer when he isn’t on the floor. He has led this late charge (six straight wins) that rescued Vinny Del Negro and the club from flirting with disaster; will he feel the effects in May? Possibly.

John Schuhmann: It’s got to be Kobe Bryant, right? He’s 33, leads the league in minutes and in usage rate. The addition of Ramon Sessions definitely helps, but Bryant shot 39 percent in March, which is not a good sign. He’s a warrior, but Mike Brown needs to find a way to keep him fresh in the next few weeks.

Sekou Smith: In this era of friends playing with friends, there are few superstars burdened with the responsibility of carrying a team on their own. Of course, that’s not the way some people view things in Chicago. No one disputes the quality of the team, the coaching and the vision the Bulls have in chasing their championship glory. But in a league where it’s traditionally taken multiple superstars to win titles, Derrick Rose will have some serious heavy lifting to do come playoff time. And coming off of a regular season that has seen him miss as much time as he has, it wouldn’t be stunning to see him push himself to the physical limit in the postseason. He’ll have to be extra careful, as will the Bulls, with making sure he doesn’t try and overdo it in an effort to make up for time missed.

102 Comments

  1. Laww says:

    I’m a huge Kobe fan so no disrespect to the Lakers, but you have to keep in mind that they got swept against the Mavs last year, the Western conference is so unpredictable. Clippers, Lakers, OKC, Spurs, Memphis and the Mavs are all contenders and all have the potential to get to the Western conference finals. Clippers-Memphis, Lakers-Dallas, OKC-Nuggets and Spurs-Rockets is what it’s looking like in the first round, and it is going to be hard for the Mavs, plus the Clippers-Memphis is a tough match up. Out of the Eastern conference it’s either the Bulls, Boston or Heat, but Deng does need to be rested, give him some resting time and play Ronnie Brewer more.

  2. Romesh says:

    Wow! I sometimes find it hard to understand why people think the things they do. It’s clear that people on here don’t all PLAY the game, they are more FANS of the game. Why on earth would you count the Lakers out in the playoffs?
    1. They have an amazing History of winning.
    2. They have, arguably the best player in the world, that can dominate games and is the best closer ever!
    3. They have a competitive edge on every other team with their 2 7-footers (providing they play well).
    4. Home record this year is very good. Teams will have to get them atleast once at home because no one will want to play lakers in game 7, simply because of the fear factor.
    5. The team is more experienced in playoffs than all the other teams except maybe SAS and Boston (haven’t researched this, just an opinion)
    6. They play a slow grinding game, which is what playoffs are, not run and stun (sorry OKC and Clips fans, but it’s true)

    is that enough reasons

  3. Larry says:

    @Mrs. Neverson what kind of uneducated ****** are you.. In these kind of blogs saying sth like ”no matter what my team lakers is gonna win they are the best ” is the stupi**** thing i have ever seen..
    You just say what you think logically and respect other people’s comment and thoughts..
    And btw in west OKC is gonna hurt you guys alot.. I feel sorry for you and your ”amazingly talented” team ^^
    About east.. I have no idea.East has always been full of surprises, I think we will witness few this playoff

  4. Larry says:

    @Mrs. Neverson what kind of uneducated weirdo are you.. In these kind of blogs saying sth like ”no matter what my team lakers is gonna win they are the best ” is the stupidest thing i have ever seen..
    You just say what you think logically and respect other people’s comment and thoughts..
    And btw in west OKC is gonna hurt you guys alot.. I feel sorry for you and your ”amazingly talented” team ^^
    About east.. I have no idea.East has always been full of surprises, I think we will witness few this playoff

  5. Larry says:

    @Mrs. Neverson what kind of uneducated retard are you.. In these kind of blogs saying sth like ”no matter what my team lakers is gonna win they are the best ” is the stupidest thing i have ever seen..
    You just say what you think logically and respect other people’s comment and thoughts..
    And btw in west OKC is gonna hurt you guys alot.. I feel sorry for you and your ”amazingly talented” team ^^
    About east.. I have no idea.East has always been full of surprises, I think we will witness few this playoffs

  6. hitman says:

    ball hug.. i like the lakers without him,just like bulls wthout d.rose.. if lebron will not play or durant in their respective teams they will win? i dont think so. admit it kobe and d rose fans. peace..

  7. Sam says:

    GO Kobeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Go Lakerssssssssssssssss

  8. Stan says:

    Kobe is a step slower, the worst 3 point shooter, and he just takes TOO MANY BAD SHOTS. If the Lakers are going to win it will be because of Bynum and Gasol. Kobe is just another 8-25 low percentage shooter like he was in game 7 vs Celtics. If Kobe shares the ball more and quits taking bad shots the Lakers will win.

  9. Sherwin Chase says:

    HEAVILY LEANED-ON! and the most answer is KOBE BRYANT! and yet, HE DESERVES NO MVP! so SAD!

  10. Sherwin Chase says:

    IF YOU MAY PLEASE HEAR ME! this mvp race has lost its credibility! 4 1 thing, the qualifications set 4 winning it changes each and every season! no definite qualifications has ever been laid down! it appears dat d award is given merely on wat dis non-sense writers and chit chatters on d web and media would propose! before, it was – d mvp is one who makes his teammates better; next season, d mvp is one who, if u take him out of d team, d team will be no playoff team; next season, d mvp is one hu puts up on amazing stats even if in his team he is not d most valuable coz’ even without him d team could still compete; next season, d mvp is one who is a leader; and so on and so forth! IT APPEARS DAT D QUALIFICATIONS 4 BEING AN MVP ARE SET ONLY 2 FAVOR THOSE WHO ARE MEDIA, WRITERS, AND VOTERS FAVORITES! ONLY TO SUIT WHO THESE PIPOL WANT 2 B MVP AND 2 TAKE AWAY SUCH AN AWARD FROM SOMEONE HU TRULY DESERVES IT! KOBE has been a testament to these! Kobe has been named d NBA Player of d decade and yet he has only 1 MVP award! it just simply makes no sense! IF AT ALL, IT SEEMS DAT DIS MVP AWARD IS ALREADY A DONE DEAL! THE MVP AWARD DECISION IS, NEVER GIVE D AWARD TO KOBE! DAT IS WHY NO MATTER HOW KOBE BECOME ALL THE QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED TO BE MVP, HE STILL WAS AWARDED only 1! IF HE BECOMES A LEADER, D QUALIFICATION IS CHANGED! IF HE MAKES HIS TEAMMATES BETTER, D QUALIFICATION IS AGAIN CHANGED! IF HE PUTS UP BIG NUMBERS, D QUALIFICATION IS AGAIN CHANGED! IF HE BECOMES D MOST IMPORTANT PLAYER IN HIS TEAM, D QUALIFICATION IS LIKEWISE CHANGED! AND SO ON and SO FORTH! DAT IS WHY INSTEAD OF THINKING OF THE MVP AWARD, KOBE EYES FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP RING INSTEAD! DAT IS SIMPLY BECAUSE, KOBE KNOWS, DAT’S D ONLY PRIZE THESE PIPOL CANNOT TAKE AWAY FROM HIM BECAUSE BEING A CHAMPION REQUIRES NO QUALIFICATION OVERHAUL! IT ONLY REQUIRES WINNING! AND DAT I BELIEVE KOBE IS A WINNER! MIND ALL THESE KOBE HATERS! LOOKING AT KOBE’S GAME DIS SEASON, KOBE HAS BECOME ALL THE QUALIFICATIONS THESE MEDIA, WRITERS and VOTERS HAVE SET FOR EACH AND EVERY SEASON OF THE PAST DECADE! AND YET WE MUST ALL EXPECT, KOBE WON’T BE MVP! WHY? coz dis award should not be given 2 him, dat is why, they must change again d qualifications! AGAIN, LOOKING AT KOBE’S GAME DIS SEASON, KOBE HAS BECOME ALL THE QUALIFICATIONS THESE MEDIA, WRITERS and VOTERS HAVE SET FOR EACH AND EVERY SEASON OF THE PAST DECADE! KOBE is PLAYING at a high level despite his age and injuries! HE’S PLAYING EACH AND EVERY SINGLE GAME as a leader on and off d court, through his game, as a leader, and by way of an example! HE’S PLAYING EACH AND EVERY SINGLE GAME AS IF THERE’S NO TOMORROW! and yet, he deserves no mvp! HIS SEATING DOWN THIS PAST FEW GAMES BECAUSE OF HIS SHIN INJURY IS NOT MERELY DUE TO THE LATTER, BUT THE SAME IS HIS WAY OF BEING A LEADER! HE WANTS HIS TEAMMATES TO HAVE THEIR GAME AND CONFIDENCE COME PLAYOFFS TIME! HE SACRIFICES HIS GAME AND PERSONAL GOALS JUST TO MAKE HIS ENTIRE TEAM PLAY BETTER! HE CAN DO THAT! YES HE CAN! HE CAN EASILY ADOPT SO ITS OK FOR HIM TO SEAT DOWN AND LET HIS TEAM IMPROVE SO THAT COME PLAYOFFS TIME, THE LAKERS WILL BE READY! THIS IS THE KOBE WAY! THE SUPPOSED TO BE MVP WAY! ACTS WHICH ARE NOT SEEN ON THE STATS SHEETS, BUT ARE MVP WORTHY! AND YET WE MUST ALL EXPECT, KOBE WON’T BE MVP! WHY? coz, to reiterate, dis award should not be given 2 him, dat is why, they must change again d qualification!

  11. jellybean says:

    Well guys here we are , the lakers know what ever happens if its 8 seed or 3 rd seed at this point , its a new season for all the team that have scrach and clawed there way to game 1 of the first round , I see the lakers going threw the playoffs to at least WCF againt OKC , LA , Have the spurs tic # / who ever comes out the west will rep us well / and the east , I see Miami againt Boston . Miami in ( 6 ) THROW THE CHIPS IN THE AIR ,If I had NEWYORK CHANCE , Push , Come 2 Shove / sleepers , LAKERS !!! – 2011-2012 CHAMPS !!!

  12. Nada says:

    Fisher will get his 6th ring before Kobe…

  13. Ryan says:

    My Lakers are not good enough to win it all, indeed. Yet, I know the Lakers will cause damage to whoever they get eliminated by. They are too big inside and they got much quicker on the perimeter as well, and with artest and barnes steping up defensively of late, I feel they can make a push toe western finals but thats as far as they can go.

  14. tywon says:

    THIS IS TO ALL YOU PEOPLE THAT HATE ON KOBE IF THIS WAS A FAN CHOICE TO PIC MVP KOBE WOULD WIN ITS NOT ONE PLAYER WHO GO THROUGHT WHAT HE DO AND STILL PUT UP HIM NUMBERS DAY AFTER DAY

  15. The Movement says:

    You do not have to like Kobe but you HAVE to respect him! Anyone that seriously believes Kobe is near the end of his career is SADLY mistaken. Kobe is 33 years old and LEADING THE NBA IN SCORING. He hustles harder than these young bucks out there, He has had to play with an injury nearly his ENTIRE career. “Is Kobe worn out?” Is such a foolish question anyone could ask. “Lakers will have an early exit.” Only foolish Heat fans say that. Whether the Lakers take on the Mavs, Grizz, Rockets, or Nuggets; answer me this… WHO IS GOING TO STOP BYNUM??????????? Clearly you people have not been watching ALL of our games. Ramon Sessions has lifted this team, and he doesn’t even know half of the plays yet. Seriously, Lakers have a Golden ticket to the WCF. Who is going to stop them????

  16. cdubbb24 says:

    Kobe has amazing conditioning & a fire inside that burns like no one else.

    He will be ready come playoffs, ready to avenge last years performance.

    GO LAKERS!!!

  17. Russell Reid says:

    interesting article about the contrast between the 80’s Lakers and the current squad . There are some glaring differences between that generation and this one.

    http://www.feasntfamine.com

  18. FAN says:

    Thats the funny thing, and greatest thing about basketball for any blogger who has actually won a championship………..its up for grabs to anyone who wants it more, im a basketball fan and respect all players as anyone should. I would love for Kobe to get a 6th, if so he more than likely will weigh the option of taking a year off or retiring?? Lebron needs to get his first, or he’s in trouble with all the drama around the heat. OKC..awesome, Spurs…dont ever count them out.

  19. KB24DontHate says:

    First of all, who wants an NBA championship more? Kobe Bryant , He played through a finger,wrist,knee injury and you guys say LeBron wants it more? Seriously when ever I see LeBron injured he always sits down in court side with Dwyane. Lol, Heat is such a loser

    • All those injuries still beast moding, lebron will never get 1. He nothing but a ball hog throwing up the ball thinking he’s going to make the shot all the time. Lebron points is at the free throw line

  20. daniel.b says:

    kobe has a shin injury, hes not resting becuase hes tired, hes resting because he has a injury and even if nothing was wrong with kobe mike brown would of been resting him for the playoffs. the lakers without kobe so far are 2-1 and tonight going for 3-1
    lakers are still handling there own without kobe so mike brown is in no rush to bring back kobe and kobe knows that he needs his legs and body to be well for the playoffs

  21. argel says:

    sekou smith is such a vias against kobe in the mvp race i think he is a laker hater,he loves durant and lbj,but kobe deserves to be an mvp with all hes been doing right now,mvp is an individual award,! not a team award!!!!!

  22. matthew says:

    prix ur crazy kobe will not choke dont hate cause hes the best in clutch

  23. LakersFan says:

    Im a lakers fan… Scared of the Grizzlies there a team that will suprise everyone they might make it to the western conf finals b/c there solid at all positions. But Lakers Can beat Mavs – Clippers – Houston – Denver .. As for Thunder and Spurs we Could beat them but it will be a tough battle.

  24. The Smart One says:

    @ The Truth and Prix, boy do I wish this blog would require a Basketball IQ test to post, because unintelligent posers like you guys would be unable to post your very biased and unsupported opinions of a game you obviously know nothing about. All I have to say is this, 7 Finals appearances, 5 wins and numerous other awards. Kobe is Kobe, come playoffs or next season, he will still be Kobe, and has the resume to back it up. We’ll see who is laughing come June.

  25. Ben H. says:

    I like the article and agree with what most of the journalists are saying, but ‘LOLPRIX’, you’ve got some issues man. I don’t mind a little trash talk, but you’re comment about deepthroating is not at all cool on this blog. If you were hangin with your boys, then it’s a free country and you can say whatever you want. But please keep it chill on here.

    P.S. btw, you’ve got some weird fantasies man…

  26. Lin MVP! says:

    knicks are going to upset the bulls! then lin comes back for the second round and continue his cinderella story! play indiana in the 2nd round and win it in 7 games… theyll make it to the conference finals against MIA, theyll loose to the heat in 6 but theyll make it that far and mark the league as the most suprising team this year,,,,

  27. YKBOSS says:

    lakers all day n errdayyy

  28. Tim says:

    *Steve was the only one to say it straight. I agree Deng seems like the most likely flame-out from the extra load. His huge regular season minutes playing with an injured wrist could kill his playoff productivity. He isn’t the only Bull with a good chance to flame-out though. Boozer and Hamilton are both over 30 and injury prone. And Noah is injury prone as well. The condensed season could cost the Bulls a deep run they might otherwise have made.

    *Fran hinted at Kobe as his answer, but went all over the place, throwing out questions instead of an answer. I agree Kobe is a good candidate for a playoff flop, due to his minutes. Since the season is condensed by about 12%, you can add 12% to the MPG of every player to see the real toll it’s taking. So for Bryant and Deng it feels like playing 43+ MPG.

    *Scott mentioned Nelson. He has been prone to flame-out in recent years. It would seem like the extra minutes per week during the season could cause an even worse shooting slump in the post-season. The Magic have 3 starters on the wrong side of 30 logging big minutes, which could lead to playoff disaster.

    *Shaun posed his answer as a question. Will Chris Paul be affected by that heavy load he has carried all season? I think so.

    *John also answered with a question. He refers to Bryant’s shooting slump in March, but that could be partly due to Kobe going through an adjustment period as he is no longer the team’s primary facilitator. He has had some high percentage games in April. By May or June Bryant, Gasol, and World Peace could all be feeling their legs give out. I think the Lakers could make a deep run, but it could possibly end in a bad flame-out.

    *Sekou’s answer wanders around in the dark, before he stumbles on Rose as a guy who might push too hard. My question, too hard for what? If he were trying to play through injury right now, it might be overdoing it, jeopardizing his availability for the playoffs. But once he’s playing in the post-season there s no such thing as “overdoing it”.

    -These guys went with some obvious answers (even though some were answering with questions). Some more obvious guys with high flame-out potential include several players from the Spurs, Mavericks, and Celtics. Also Dwayne Wade recently turned 30 and has been injury prone during his career. His minutes per game are down significantly, but his minutes per week are still high.

    As much as some people believe certain playoff teams have no chance, it’s hard to predict which teams will rise above the tough schedule and go deep. Some dark horse contenders: Lakers, added a young PG changing the team’s dynamic at both ends of the floor; Celtics, with KG playing better than he has in years and the unexpected emergence of Avery Bradley, a deep run wouldn’t surprise me; Grizzlies have been playing well under the radar all season. They got through Randolph’s absence while staying in the playoff hunt. If they are healthy for the playoffs, watch out!

  29. KobelovesLebron says:

    Finals = LAL vs MIA

  30. LOLPRIX says:

    prix, I’ve seen your comments on some of the blog post and I think that you are just plain stupid and a Kobe hater. IF somebody have to choke and make an early exit in the playoffs that will probably be lebron and company, given that lebron will not do his job right. (im not hatin im just sayin) and if kobe wins his 6th ring, somebody gotta deepthroat you and see who will choke alot

  31. Amitpal says:

    There are a couple of players who might wear out. Deng and Kobe lead that pack but aren’t the only ones. Chris Paul is another since he’s the only true superstar player on the clippers. I wonder how Tim Duncan and Tony Parker will do in the playoffs. Boston is really old so one of there player can wear out to. So many of these players can wear down but I think Deng is most likely cause he plays so hard for so long, and Kobe the other cause he’s old although he doesn’t need to work as hard on defense as deng. Actually Kobe only plays defense in spurts when he needs to.

  32. uih7866 says:

    Very excited for playoffs. The spurs and thunder both look super strong. In the east i’d go bulls and celtics.

  33. The Voice In The Distance says:

    Any player playing a high number of minutes for his team in a season like this is going to be vulnerable to fatigue. Most of all the older players and those already carrying injuries.

  34. BullsFanHere says:

    @lakerfansrdumb you cant really see the Knicks upsetting the Bulls. Just say you dont like the Bulls. And last year was the first time this team has gone to the Eastern Finals in over a decade. They’ll be tougher this time around. So please…get off Fantasy Island and come back to the real world.

  35. matthew says:

    the celtics can beat everyone in the east except chicago miami who are for sure going to east finals

  36. Tom says:

    The Spurs are crazy good right now, but they are very old.
    if they won’t get tired or injured they may have a shot in the west against OKC and IMO MEM.
    The Memphs were great last season’s playoff, and I think they’ll make a nice run again.
    team-to-team they can beat anyone.
    in the east Chicago and Miami will meet again.
    i think Miami will win again (too bad i’m a Chicago fan), and will lose to whichever comes from the west in the finals.

    • Krespino says:

      The Spurs are not very old. That is wrong. Excepting Duncan all players in the starting five are under 30, including Tony Parker. Parker in fact is younger than players like Boozer, Korver, Scola, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, who nobody considers old.
      The Spurs play with DeJuan Blair, Gary Neal, Splitter, Kawhi leonard, James Anderson all of whom are very young. Even Boris Diaw is under 30. With only two players (Duncan, who plays very effectively this year, and Ginobili coming from the bench, the team does not become very old. The Spurs starting five are younger than several other teams.

    • LakersWillWin says:

      I think you guys all missed the Lakers dismantle the Spurs the other night without Kobe… ON THE ROAD…

    • why would miami beat chicago (which im a lakers fan) if they just got destroyed

  37. thank u lakersfanrdumb knicks can beat bulls in playoff if melo puts up mvp #s and if amare comes bak early enough to be 100% come playoff time

  38. lakerfansrdumb says:

    It’s going to be Thunder vs. Spurs in the WCF and that’s that. Whoever advances will face the Heat. The Bulls are simply just a regular season monster. Why? Who knows. They cannot compete in the playoffs, ha look at last year. Anyways I can honestly see the Knicks creating the upset against Chicago in the first round.

    • Ithinkurdumb says:

      My name says it all when you count out Lakers and still riding miami horse after their recent struggles. The fact is, no one can count out Lakers despite all the drama because they have number 24. The fact about miami is that they struggle early last year and strong during last half of the season. Now, it’s completely different story, they were dominating early in the season but team figured out how to beat this superstar squad with no bench. If you truly believe what you just said, you might not be watching playoffs after heat goes down before making the eastern conference final.

    • mavsfan says:

      ^pretty good call ^

      • mavsfan says:

        Dallas can beat San Antonio, but OKC is a nightmare… We’re all hoping they choke against a garbage team (go Houston)

    • Ha fans like u make me laugh upset from the knicks more like a whooping for the Knicks. Lin out for another 5 weeks hes going to miss about a week in the play offs and the entire series is in a week against Chicago, think about it. I can easily see u don’t believe in Chicago this year. Last year was the past, start talking about the present. I admit i’m a bulls fan, but i see sometimes play like the bobcats with all the turnovers. If we act like the bobcats(because we are not) and stop turning over the ball most of the game than yeah we can beat the Heat. We already beat them without and Rose and lost to them With rose.

      • Dreamer says:

        ahaha….the guy is right. There is no way any EC team can beat the bulls in the play offs (except the Heat). They are just monsters in defense and the Knicks are just inconsistent and Melo being unreliable. TC can be the star for the Knicks in the 1st round because of Lin and Amare not being able to play but Melo is just pure offense but the Bulls kills their opponent’s offense.

        In the west, OKC is already a given. They shall face either Miami or Bulls in the finals. If they face the Bulls, they will win but if they face the Heat they will loose. This just depends on which team can advance in the Eastern Conference.

    • the knicks doesn’t have nothing on chicago, if they did they wouldn’t be fighting for the 8th spot in the east

  39. Will says:

    Im soooo glad someone stepped in and said something about this. I think Thib plays Deng wayyyyy tooo long especially if we are winning, he should be sitting! But I sometimes see why. If you look at Deng coming back from the allstar break, he easily gets sluggish! But as soon as Rose comes back they need to rest Deng until the last week of the regular season. Great Article

    • BullsFanHere says:

      I said the same thing! Rest Deng the next three weeks to give his wrist a much needed break.

  40. A lot of bulls fans sound concerned. When rose comes back we will be well rested and fresh legs thats important in these playoffs with the regular season schedule wearing boys out rose will need bozer to be in the post doin work if they plan on coming out the east , and kobe and lakers need a bench and they don’t win on the road you don’t win in the playoffs with those problems, It looks like lebron is running on empty averageing 19 in the last few weeks and the heat losing games to playoff teams and on the road 19 is what he averaged in the finals last year the heat need to get back to half court defense and learn how to play against the zone in half court offenese They need to play out the post with bosh he started the season strong now he’s just running on fumes.

  41. sanji says:

    i dont think bulls can handle miami without rose healthy. it will be either boston or miami in the finals. il go 4 boston all the way.

  42. turk says:

    REST DENG. If the standings 3-8 stay the same from now to the end of the season in the EC, it looks like the #2 seed will actually have an easier road to the ECF than the 1 seed. As of right now, the 1 seed would have to go through NY, then either Boston or Orlando. As opposed to the 2 seed going through Philly then either Indiana or Atlanta. So REST DENG as much as possible till the playoffs. The #2 seed might be a blessing in disguise.

    • BullsFanHere says:

      Totally agree! I hope management gets on Thibs about his minutes. Home court us good, but we’ve been a good road team the last couple of years. I think we can pull it off on the road. (if needed)

  43. pz says:

    Steve is right, Luol Deng has been playing huge minutes with his bad wrist. It’s only a matter of time before it seriously starts to affect to a point where he can’t play.

  44. Wesley Orlowski says:

    Lakers have no shot at a title this year..OKC is way too explosive and good…lakers wont get past them; if they even get past the first round. Just because you guys are big laker fans, doesn’t mean facts aren’t facts… (I’m rarely wrong) Finals 2012 – OKC vs CHI / MIA….this is coming from a Bulls fan….the eastern confernace finals are a coin flip….especially if both rose and hamilton are good and healthy. But steve has a good point…DENG PLAYS TOO MUCH!!! Throw ronnie brewer in the sf mix, and give deng a break till playoff time…especially if miami loses tonight….well have less to worry about, considering well have a 3/3.5 game lead for home court advantage in the playoffs!

  45. Igor says:

    I think with Rose and RIP back, Luol won’t be so required in all games and if a 4-0 series in the first round of the playoffs Bulls will can rest a little and fix Rose and Luol to the semifinals probably against Boston.

  46. Boston says:

    kobe choke?? haha he will played with an broken leg if he have to. Choke is only refers to Lebron… he is the Choken One.

  47. the lakers are starting to scare me even though theyve won a few in a row…heres my recap post hornets game http://mindofmattman.com/2012/03/state-of-union-lakers-vs-hornets-033112.html

  48. wickedforehand says:

    The only guy who has sensible answer is Steve… it is running out of gas in the playoffs due to schedule and minutes per game… not playoff history or missing a lot of games in the season…

  49. LA says:

    the only one choking is prix on kobes 6th ring

    • gameon says:

      delusional a 6th ring is so not going to happen, save your breath I already talked to Ms. Cleo about it she predicts the Lakers will be out in round 1. Sorry maybe you should switch to a different bandwagon.

    • the truth says:

      Don’t you mean third ring, since the first three were shaqs.

      • Well what happen to the last 2 rings Kobe Bryant won without Pau Gasol

      • Greg says:

        take out kobe, shaq would not have won. maybe 1 or 2 rings. i hate people talking about “shaqs” rings. people need to learn about teamwork

      • mini mamba says:

        ok just becuz shaq had the mvp of the finals does not mean he carried them do not get me wrong he was a heck of a player but nobody can do it alone jordan didnt do it tim duncan didnt do it chauncey billup didnit do it shaq didnt do it and kobe didnt do it so shut yo dumb mouth full kobe will get that 6th if a drew bynum screws his head on tight pau gets more touches in the paint metta plays consistant sessions does wat he does and kobe bes kobe he will

  50. prix says:

    Kobe will choke this time..an early exit in the 1st round…too old kobe..he´s running out of bullets..