1981-82 Boston Celtics
Well, you know, he was kinda hard to ignore.
Larry Bird played 14 games in January, not including the All-Star Game, where he was the MVP. He averaged 26.9 points, 12.9 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 2.9 steals. He scored 40 points once and had over 30 on five other occasions.
So it did not exactly come as a complete shock when Bird was named yesterday as the NBA Player of the Month, beating out Gus Williams, Magic Johnson, Moses Malone, Alex English, Jay Vincent and John Long, most of whom should be immensely pleased just to be named in the same paragraph as Larry Bird, when it comes to discussing quality basketball players.-
Which brings us to last night's game. The Bird stat line reads 43 minutes, 26 points (8-for-19 from the floor), 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal and zero turnovers. It sounds nice, but what it added up to was a so-so Bird performance, a routine earn-the-paychec k night's work that nonetheless represented an achievement that could not have been matched for impact on the game by 95 percent of the game's players.-
Game officials Earl Strom and Joey Crawford appeared to be engaging in some not-so-friendly bantering throughout the game. In addition Strom did not like some kidding comments from an Indiana member of the press corps concerning the 14-0 free throw discrepancy that favored Boston in the third period. "Are you accusing me of cheating?" Earl bellowed when apprised of the stat . . . From this East Coast viewpoint, the game did not appear to be strange. The Celtics got the ball in deep and picked up a lot of free throws on right-back fast breaks, while the Pacers did little driving. It was not clear from Indiana's predictable post-game complaining whether they objected to their total of 17 foul shots or Boston's total of 45.