After a spirited scrimmage session that lasted about a half-hour on Monday - the team's first get-together since a Saturday loss at Miami coupled with a Milwaukee win put the playoffs out of reach - Holiday was asked whether his recent play was a product of the heavy load he has been carrying all season.

Holiday has posted career highs in points per game (18.1), assists (8.5), rebounds (4.3) and three-pointers (84). But more telling is the 38.4 minutes a game he has logged, almost 5 more than last season. And there was no midseason break for the fourth-year guard, as he was selected to his first All-Star Game. So with six games to go before the offseason begins, Holiday let on that he was dragging a bit.

"It's been tiring, obviously. I won't lie," said Holiday, who has shot 12-for-55 (21.8 percent) over his past three games, including a 2-for-24 stinker at Charlotte. "It's my first time really going through a season where you're averaging more than 35 minutes. It's about taking care of yourself. There's a lot of things that I can't do that other people probably can. I'm sleeping all day instead of waking up and going out and watching a movie or something. I'm in bed all day."

And the mental fatigue?

"That's something that you also have to learn," Holiday said. "I was talking to the vets, like Damien [Wilkins] and Dorell [Wright] and all the guys that have been here and been on good and bad teams and really just going through that struggle. It's just something new and something I'm trying to get through."

Getting through the end of a meaningless string of games before the season mercifully ends isn't an enviable position, obviously, but Holiday knows that there are still positives to be gained from now until then. He knows it because his coach drills it into his tired mind just about every day.