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LeBron out vs. Bulls due to broken nose, Greg Oden will start in his place

Feb 23, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT

oden heat Getty Images

The mask will have to wait, at least for one game.

LeBron James has been ruled out of Sunday afternoon’s nationally televised contest against the Bulls due to the broken nose he suffered in Thursday’s win over the Thunder.

Erik Spoelstra informed reporters of the decision before the game, and also told them who will get the start in his place: Greg Oden.

From Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

James, who had his nose repaired Friday and then was limited to light shooting at Saturday’s practice, now will have a full week to recover, with the Heat’s next game Thursday at home against the New York Knicks, the second game in this four-game homestand.

“We understand the big picture,” coach Erik Spoelstra said 90 minutes before Sunday’s game.”The fact that we don’t play until Thursday, it makes the most sense.”

Oden has been intentionally brought along slowly by the Heat this season, only appearing in 10 games to this point and never for more than 13 minutes. He’s averaged 2.8 points and 2.2 minutes in 7.8 minutes per game, but just because he’s starting we shouldn’t assume he’ll get a significant bump in his minutes.

Coaches often times prefer to keep their regular rotation intact when a star player is out with an injury, so a seldom-used reserve gets the nod instead of the next best player off the bench. That’s likely the case here with Oden, although if he is to be a factor for Miami in the postseason, the team will at some point need to get him acclimated to playing on a consistent basis.

  1. JMClarkent - Feb 23, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    I’d love to see him get around 20 if he is healthy; it will be interesting to see what he can do.

  2. stadix093 - Feb 23, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Remember when he had to be carried off for cramps? Yeah, me too.

    • antistratfordian - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:07 PM

      You can’t walk with severe leg cramps – what else were they supposed to do? It’s not tennis where you just have to watch in horror as the tennis player writhes on the court and no one is allowed to go out there and help them.

  3. youcantmakemepickausername - Feb 23, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    I’m sure this means that tomorrow on his show, Colin Cowherd will talk about how there isn’t anyone in the league that can sit out a game with a broken nose with the same greatness that Lebron sat out a game with a broken nose, and if you think anyone can, you’re an idiot that doesn’t know basketball and are nothing but a saleman that likes burgers and beer, rather than a filet and johnny walker blue CEO.

  4. stadix093 - Feb 23, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    Six people mad I told the truth? Haha Lebron is an amazing basketball player, but dude isn’t tough. Rondo broke his arm and kept trying to play and last I checked you need your arm a hell of a lot more than you need your face to play ball.

    • antistratfordian - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:15 PM

      He just broke his nose, no need to hurry back for the lowly Bulls. Plus, no one has played more games over the last 3 years than LeBron – if Spo can find some time to rest his legs, they will.

      Plus, it allows Wade to get some #1 time back, which is good for him.

      In any case, James proves his toughness every year. No one gets hit more than he does – and you have certainly never seen another player get tackled as often as he does – and he’s rarely out.

      • chicagosports2014 - Feb 24, 2014 at 4:43 AM

        We have more TITLES!!!!!!!

      • antistratfordian - Feb 24, 2014 at 4:59 AM

        The 90′s called, they want their arguments back.

      • belleby123 - Feb 26, 2014 at 8:35 AM

        antistratfordian – Feb 23, 2014 at 7:15 PM
        He just broke his nose, no need to hurry back for the lowly Bulls

        Really? Am I mistaken, or did the Bulls hand the Heat their worst loss in their history?

      • antistratfordian - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        Non-sequitur. The Bulls stink, relatively speaking.

      • belleby123 - Feb 27, 2014 at 7:30 AM

        Relative to what? That’s a really stupid comment. Sorry, I meant “troll”.

      • antistratfordian - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        Relative to the Heat. You are aware that they currently have a .544 win percentage, yes?

      • belleby123 - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:48 AM

        Yeah, and given their level of talent they should be at about .400. Your point?

      • antistratfordian - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:29 PM

        So you think they stink too. Why are you arguing with me then?

      • belleby123 - Mar 1, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        Because, moron, my prediction is the Bulls will beat Miami in the playoffs this year. If not the Bulls, then the Pacers. The Heat won’t be in the Finals.

      • antistratfordian - Mar 1, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        “my prediction is the Bulls will beat Miami in the playoffs this year”

        Oh. Ha! Now your bizarre comments finally make some sense… you’re completely delusional.

        Okay, well have fun with that.

    • jimmymarlinsfan - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:18 PM

      Funny because I’ve seen a one armed basketball player but never a basketball player without a face. I guess you could say having a face is a pretty important to playing basketball but let’s take a comment section poll. Dear internet strangers, which is more important to a basketball player, an arm or a face?

  5. antistratfordian - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    Wow. Oden has come a long way. Proud of him.

    • sportsfan18 - Feb 23, 2014 at 8:38 PM

      I know. His agent is gonna use this article with his picture when it talks about LBJ… he’ll try to sign for $20 million a season with this as his proof that he’s LBJ’s father…

      • belleby123 - Feb 26, 2014 at 8:38 AM

        Wait, did LeBron just break his nose or was his whole face mangled beyond recognition? Oh well, at least PBT didn’t try to use a picture of Michael Jordan, because that would just be silly.

  6. psly2124 - Feb 24, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    Crybaby. Actually who hit him on the play. I think he hit himself

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