Larry Bird has done an excellent job with the Indiana Pacers, but even he was appalled by how his team played Tuesday night against the Miami Heat. The team seemed to wilt in the third quarter and Bird was not happy about it. In fact, Bird called the team he built “soft.”
See, I am not 100 percent certain they played soft, but they did play scared. The Heat were almost gleeful in getting some cheap shots in on the Pacers. The team did not fight back. There needs to be a time when you take a stand and deliver a shot that shows you will not be intimidated.
Larry Bird played back in the 1980s when the competition was much stronger. By stronger, I mean the games were a lot rougher. You had to be able to take a hit and then throw one back on defense. Flagrants were not called and you had to hope your team had your back. I think Bird saw what a lot of people saw in Game 5. The Pacers went down meekly.
I expect this to light a fire under the Pacers for Game 6. You can not let down Larry Bird. He is a legend and he is almost never wrong when it comes to basketball. The Pacers have to play tough. Don’t let the Heat bully you. Otherwise, you are going home.
Riley Schmitt is a writer for Rant Sports. He may not totally agree with Larry Bird, but the Pacers do need to toughen up right now.