Bird's Back Problems May be Back

Injury Foreshadow's Second Half of Season
1990-91 Boston Celtics
Remembering the 29-5 Start

The numbers are hard to ignore or dismiss. Box score readers across America see uncharacteristic numbers next to Larry Bird's name and want to know what's going on.

The Celtics ' franchise forward can't seem to buy a basket on the road, something that has been dramatized in the last two games. In Dallas and San Antonio, two places where he generally enjoys big games, he scored a total of 17 points and shot 7 for 28 from the field.

In Philadelphia nine days ago, the last road stop before this Texas swing, he was 6 for 17 from the field.

What gives?

"It seems like I'm always off-balance or always getting the ball with the shot clock winding down," Bird said yesterday. "I haven't been in the flow. That's something as a unit we have to improve. Reggie Lewis didn't take that many shots in the second half. We have to get the ball in the hands of the people who can do something with it."

Bird is shooting 41.5 percent on the road this season, 36.5 percent in the last seven road games. There is one physical aspect to all this: his back is bothering him.

Team physician Arnold Scheller confirmed that Bird has been playing all season with a stiff lower back, the same condition that kept him out of two exhibition games.


CW said...

this was the beginning of the end...if I recall correctly he missed most of the prior season with bone spurs; and after the hot 29-5 start, finished the season with 56 wins. Was this the year they lost to NY in the first round after being up 2-0, with Bird missing a key dunk attempt?

Lex said...

CW, you remember the season well, though I don't remember the missed dunk, I am sure you are correct. The c's lost both games to the l's after bird went down, and thank god the bulls downed the l's in the finals!

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