NBA Chicago BullsMiami Heat

2013 NBA Playoffs: Miami Heat Catch The Chicago Bulls Running On Fumes

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of it was hard to watch with asses being dropped, and balls sailing out of bounds. It got downright painful at times. Yet, some Chicago Bulls fans still chose to blame the refs which really made no sense.

When you start off 1-12, your new star shoots 0-12 and your team shoots a franchise low (26 percent), you don’t really need a referee. So the excuses were irrelevant as Chicago just ran out of gas—mentally and physically.

“They’re in a tough situation,” LeBron James said (via ESPN.com). “They’ve had some injuries and illnesses and whatever’s going on. They don’t have their full roster, but that’s not for us to worry about. They beat a very good Brooklyn team [in the first round] without their full roster.”

People have been saying that about the Bulls all season, but without a full tank it gets hard to even grab a rebound or shoot a jump shot. And it showed Monday night versus the Miami Heat as players like Nate Robinson looked like his shorts were soaked in cement. He couldn’t even muster up the energy to put his legs into a shot.

Unfortunately for the Bulls, the rest of the reserves served no better.

They’ve been able to hustle their way to wins without Derrick Rose but were too burned out to capitalize on the Heat’s struggles. Their crowd sensed it, their bench sensed it, and the pain on coach Tom Thibodeau’s face during his fourth quarter interview said everything his mouth wouldn’t.

It was almost enough to make a Miami fan feel bad—but not too bad.

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Richard Nurse is a Miami Heat columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr.