Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Miami Heat and Tuesday's Top NBA News

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Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Miami Heat and Tuesday's Top NBA News
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The mature version of Kobe Bryant — the post-Shaquille O’Neal era Kobe, that is — will tell you that an NBA title is downright impossible without a strong low-post presence.
 
For Kobe, seeing his Los Angeles Laker teammate Pau Gasol splayed on the Staples Center floor on Sunday, writhing and grasping his knee, surely sent shivers up and down the spine of No. 24.
 
Injuries to key role players appear to be shaping the playoff run as the NBA regular season enters its final week
 
While Gasol heads to the dreaded MRI machine, a rosier situation is playing out in Chicago, where Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls look to get back center Joakim Noah tonight against the Phoenix Suns.
 
After close to 80 games, healthy bodies are a rare commodity.
 
Injuries are starting to mount, including in South Beach, where Dwyane Wade’s ailing thigh continues might keep him out of action on Wednesday as Wade’s Miami Heat chase Rose’s Bulls in the standings.
 
Other injuries possibly affecting the playoffs include Stephen Jackson (Charlotte Bobcats, hamstring), Lou Williams (Philadelphia 76ers, hamstring) and the aforementioned Shaq (Boston Celtics, calf).
 
Among the teams that can help their postseason cause tonight are the Indiana Pacers, who can go up by three games over Jackson’s Bobcats with three games left to play on their schedule.
 
Speaking of Kobe, he and Shaq are certain future basketball hall-of-famers.
 
One day they’ll join Chris Mullin and Dennis Rodman in Springfield. The duo was among a dozen players who shed the “surefire” prefix from their hall-of-fame credentials on Monday when the NBA announced it 2011 HOF class.
 
Stay tuned throughout the day as we take you up and down the court with more NBA news.

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