1. As if emotions won’t be high enough for Thursday’s Game 6, Larry Bird had the harshest words of any for his Pacers. “I can’t believe my team went soft – S-O-F-T,” Bird told the Indianapolis Star. “I’m disappointed. I never thought it would happen.”
Asked to expand on that, he told the Star, “That’s all I have to say.”
Bird was talking about their resolve more than their physical plays. The Pacers wilted in the second half competitively. But this will add to the emotions.
2. Danny Granger sounds like he will miss Game 6 and Udonis Haslem might. Granger injured his ankle in the second half of Game 5 on Tuesday and said afterward it’s “day’to-day.” He also said the pain was an “eight or nine” on a scale of 10. The question isn’t if he tries to play, as he did Tuesday after it happeend. The question is if he can play effectively. David West, who injured his knee, sounded better about his chances of laying.
Haslem? His retaliatory foul on Tyler Hansborough was hard enough to merit a flagrant call. Stu Jackson will review it in the league offices. The question is what he decides. Does it merit an upgrade to a flagrant-two? Or does it get upgraded further to a one-game suspension?
As Haslem pointed out after the game, “Check my rap sheet. Nine years, I’ve never been accused of dirty play.”
Reputations come into play in these things, sure. TNT’s Steve Kerr said he’d be suspended. Charles Barkley said he wouldn’t. Everyone’s guessing.
3. Quote of the Day I: “My head is not the ball,” Wade said of Hansborough hitting him in the head with his flagrant foul.
4. Quote of the Day II: “It’s stupid,” LeBron said after the morning shootaround about Granger’s tough-guy play.
5. The Heat set a franchise playoff record of 61.4 percent. That won’t repeat Thursday. But what could is Indiana shooting 33.7 percent. The Heat has found the defensive formula to lock down Indiana, especially if they’re refusing to throw the ball into Roy Hibbert. The 7-2 Hibbert had 19 points and 18 rebounds in Gamed 3 and threatened to take over the series with his size. But Erik Spoelstra set up a net that begins with fronting Hibbert and getting quick off-side help. Hibbert had eight points and 12 rebounds on Tuesday. David West, who has been neutralized by the smaller Battier, had 10 points and four rebounds. The Heat out-rebounded the Pacers, 49-35.
To follow me on Twitter, click here.
To have the Hyde5 blog e-mailed to you daily, click here.