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So what does this mean? Is it better to be running top speed when the playoffs begin, or does it help when a team catches its breath before beginning a long postseason run?

Not surprisingly, past results are inconclusive. Last year's two NBA Finals teams were decidedly cold when the regular season ended. The Lakers were 4-6 in their last 10 games, while Boston was 3-7.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau worked the bench with the Celtics last year and was asked his thoughts on the value of hitting the playoffs on a roll.

“I think the big thing is we were really concerned about health,” Thibodeau said of last year's Celtics, which went from the No. 4 playoff seed to losing Game 7 of the Finals. “So you had to make a decision in terms of how much you were going to practice, who are you going to play.

“I think that impacted winning and losing more than anything else. But we felt that if we were healthy, we would have a good chance.”

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