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Paces Vs. Heat, Game 5 Links: Larry Bird Rips His Indiana Team After They Fade To Miami

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The Indiana Pacers endured another flurry of furious play from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. The pair "only" combined for 58 points in their Game 5 win but that was all they needed to put the game on ice in the third quarter.

Following the game, Larry Bird dropped some hard words on his team, telling Mike Wells the Pacers went soft.

"I can't believe my team went soft," Bird said on the phone. "S-O-F-T. I'm disappointed. I never thought it would happen."

In a game with some hard fouls ranging from vicious to moronic, I'm sure Bird was more exercised by how mentally soft his team went as opposed to physically soft. The Pacers were simply pushed out of their comfort zone by the Heat. You could see it from the opening tip, the Pacers just weren't sharp and were careless with the ball. The execution on offense was weak and the effort to execute (meh, I'll just fire a three...) even weaker. Once again, the Pacers were crushed on the boards (49-35) which helped fuel Miami outscoring the Pacers in fast break points 22-2.

Forget the flagrant fouls and trash talking, this is about taking care of business in a grown man's playoff game on the road. That takes some mature, mental toughness and the Pacers didn't have it. Things were too easy for the Heat.

Now the Pacers have one life left in their post-season run. Assuming David West and Danny Granger are ready to go, I'd expect a much stronger all-around effort in Game 6 on Thursday. Bird just demanded it.

Check out the links after the jump.