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2013 NBA playoffs: David West under the weather, NBA had to clip Birdman's feathers heading into Game 6

The Pacers power forward missed the team's shoot around to deal with an upper respiratory infection.

USA TODAY Sports

The bad news is that David West is sick, dealing with an upper respiratory infection which kept him out of the Pacers shoot around on Saturday. The good news is, West plans to play which puts his cough and sneeze capabilities into the Pacers defensive game plan.

Krissy Myers let the masses know that West was out this morning but expected to be ready to go in front of the Fieldhouse faithful for the opening tip of Game 6.

No, this doesn't even things up with the Heat for having to play without Birdman Andersen. West is far more valuable in a variety of ways to what the Pacers are trying to do on court every game. I'll be surprised if West show no ill effects once he hits the court, but then again, I'm not sick, either.

Oh, and for those complaining about Birdman's after-the-fact suspension, which I heard on national radio on the way to the Fieldhouse, sorry, but David Stern was boxed into a corner with that one. He destroyed the Pacers for a few years with his crack-down on a similar incident that escalated out of control. The Pacers, like no other team, are schooled in the art of not responding to such tempting physical fodder. Tyler Hansbrough didn't take the bait, despite Birdman's repeated attempts to create a fracas.

Stern had to deliver a strong response.