10.31.2009

Larry v. Magic: Bird Heating Up As Game 3 Approaches

#33 Wins Player of the Month for January

Larry v. Magic: Game-by-Game Summary
Larry v. Magic: Game-by-Game Media Coverage


February 3, 1982

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-paycheck 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.

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