Larry Bird: 44 Minutes and Only Eight Shots?

October 17, 1980

Hey, what is it with Larry Bird, anyway?

Playing 44 minutes in a tough ballgame, he took just eight shots last night. He didn't take No. 1 until there was just 2:38 remaining in the first half.

That was a fast-break trailer jumper which gave the Celtics a 50-49 lead. His offensive reticence extended for the rest of the game, as he wound up shooting 4 for 8. His defense was once again below the standard he established last season, and, though he is rebounding and passing in his accustomed manner, it can almost be said that the team is carrying him right now.

"I'm not sure what's the matter," coach Bill Fitch said after last night's 110-103 victory over Milwaukee. "I think there may be something wrong with his legs, but he'd never say. He's the world's worst patient."

Bird has been making jokes about his missing jump shot, which is a healthy sign, but everybody would feel a lot better if he started playing in his old manner soon. After all, it's got to be a weird feeling when you're carrying Larry Bird.

Gerald Henderson enjoyed one of those golden moments when he scored five points in five seconds at the tail end of the first quarter. With Milwaukee leading by a 31-27 score, Henderson first threw in a one-on-one jumper with five seconds left. When the Bucks tried a quick outlet pass for a potential sneakaway score, Henderson retreated and intercepted the missile at midcourt. He then heaved up a flying, two-hand banker that dropped through the hoop for a memorable three-pointer.

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