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Granger agrees with Bird that Pacers played soft. LeBron doesn’t see it that way.

May 23, 2012, 4:16 PM EDT

Miami Heat's James dribbles against Indiana Pacers' Granger in the first quarter during Game 5 of their NBA Eastern Conference second round basketball playoff series in Miami Reuters

Larry Bird was pissed after the Heat came out in Game 5 Tuesday and steamrolled his Pacers. The team president broke out probably the biggest insult you can use in professional sports.

Bird said the Pacers played soft.

Wednesday, the Pacers agreed.

“I agree with his assessment. We did play soft,” Indiana’s Danny Granger said Wednesday. “We got smacked around. We got beat up, we got bullied, and we really didn’t respond well.

“I’ve been with Larry since I’ve been in Indiana for seven years,” Granger added. “He’s not been one to hold his tongue, and 99 percent of the time what he’s saying is right. I think he just called out what everyone else saw. We played a soft game. We didn’t play with the playoff intensity that we needed to win.”

LeBron James thought Bird was playing games.

“He’s just trying to amp them up. That’s all. That’s all it is,” James said. “He knows his team isn’t soft. But with them, with their backs against the wall at this point, he knows what he’s doing. He’s not the executive of the year for no reason.”

The bigger question than if the Pacers are soft is if Granger will be able to go. Granger sprained his ankle in the third quarter when he landed on LeBron James foot and the Pacers were outscored by 21 the rest of the way. Granger said he will play; coach Frank Vogel was more hesitant.

In a series that has gotten very chippy, I wouldn’t expect a soft game on Thursday.

  1. cakemixa - May 23, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Spurs will make the Heat look soft in the finals – book it!

    • angulocarlos1 - May 23, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      Well since you said “book it!” you must be credible. Great job

      • jimeejohnson - May 23, 2012 at 7:24 PM

        “Book” has many meanings. In this case, the meaning is “forget it”!

    • canehouse - May 23, 2012 at 8:43 PM

      you better focus on the Thunder first.

  2. justprofit84 - May 23, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    The Pacers are playing tough they just won’t be Miami because they are tougher.

  3. 808raiderinparadise - May 23, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Spurs beating the Thunder is a lock?

    If they do, I would say Spurs have edge over Heat without Bosh in some repsects, then again if LeBron keeps playing like he is, and if Wade wakes up for good …. then the Spurs will have issues as well.

    • borderline1988 - May 23, 2012 at 10:54 PM

      Spurs vs Heat would be great. Obviously the Spurs are way deeper, but they do not have anyone to guard Wade and Lebron. Lebron will torch the Spurs – who are they going to use to guard him, Leonard? And if Bosh is healthy, he will give Duncan fits b/c he can draw Duncan out of the paint, and is much quicker to the basket.

      And the Heat are built to defend the Spurs since they are so good at closing out shooters.

      I think the Heat would rather see the Spurs in the Finals than the Thunder.

      • kappneffect - May 24, 2012 at 6:23 AM

        Ha… because LeBron tourches them on a regular occasion right?

  4. rufe - May 23, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    When Ringless James has one he can comment on someone who does.

    • soflasfinest - May 23, 2012 at 5:08 PM

      Anddd what do you have that puts you on your pedestal?? Oh, that’s right nothing.

      • raidmagic - May 23, 2012 at 5:27 PM

        He posts on a blog…that makes him an expert.

    • cosmicduster - May 23, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      and you are?

  5. bbk1000 - May 23, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Bird fell asleep in his office watching the Pacer game and someone put on a tape of the Indiana Fever shortly before he started analyzing the game…

  6. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 23, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Want to have some fun? Go look at the comment section after Game 3. Go see who said what and how stupid they sound. Enjoy.

  7. rodge1 - May 23, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    All these haters talk so much crap. Keep it up haters, jealousy is a great form of flattery… Wait, I have to go now. The beach is calling. Enjoy your crappy cities haters!

    • bbk1000 - May 23, 2012 at 5:39 PM

      Rodge1, why are you leaving, does someone need a new unbrella in their drink?

  8. duane888 - May 23, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    They didn’t play soft, they are soft. Hibbert has to be the most invisible 7 foot something i’ve ever seen, much like Shawn Bradley.

    I thought David West was supposed to be ‘da man’!! I haven’t seen him do much of anything all series long.

    Danny Granger, he’s just trying to irritate Lebron to get him off his game. I don’t see anything tough from him.

    Soft, soft and soft….

  9. rodge1 - May 23, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    @bbk1000

    LOL!!!… I felt your anger & jealousy on that one. Why don’t you bring your shine-box down here? I’m sure you can find work.

    • bbk1000 - May 23, 2012 at 6:09 PM

      hahaha……

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