clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Larry Bird 'can't get a handle' on Pacers but will he make any changes?

New, comments

During a recent interview with the Indianapolis Star, Larry Bird expressed his frustrations with the inconsistent play of the Pacers while also giving some ground on using the spread lineup.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Pacers president Larry Bird remains a strong supporter of the Pacers changing their style of play to utilize a spread lineup.  That much was apparent from his comments to Nate Taylor in a recent Indy Star interview.

But Bird also admits his team, the spread is not as consistent nor effective as the big linueps.

"I just can't get a handle on it right now because these guys are up and down," Bird said in a telephone interview just hours before Friday's game against Washington. "I can't tell you what is best for us right now. We've had success with the small lineup, but we've had success with two big guys in there. It's going to take a little bit more time, but I would like to have won more games up to this point. I don't think any of us feel comfortable with how we're playing and the way things are going."

Like everyone following the Pacers, Bird is frustrated by the late-game problems the Pacers have had that turns into a vicious 'if only' game when you consider where they would be in the standings with even half of the Ws they threw away.

Being a bottom line business, that is where Bird is willing to give in on the spread lineup. If the big lineup will lead to wins, then so be it.

"If we would have just closed out two or three or four more of the games we had the lead, we would be sitting here and going, ‘Hey, this small ball and this big thing looks good,' " Bird said. "Do I want to get back to winning games? Yeah. Do I want to close games out and win more? Yeah. I want to do it with the style, whether it's big or small, that's going to win games for us."

Another take away from this article is how Bird continues pushing the spread lineup. No doubt Frank Vogel would rather run the big lineup but continues trying to make the spread work for this boss. That was apparent on Friday when Vogel went back to starting the spread lineup against Washington. But after that mess, Vogel should be free to go with the bigs as he sees fit. Expectations simply aren't being met.

But will Larry Bird sit back and see how the big lineups produce or will he look to make a change?

When the Pacers start falling short of expectations, regardless of how many wins they have, we know Bird is ready and willing to make a change. Just ask Andrew Bynum and Evan Turner.

Hard to imagine Bird's expectations weren't exceeded by the Pacers play in November. Now that the team has underperformed to expectations over the past few weeks, will Bird let things play out to see if the Pacers settle into a strong level of play he can live with or will he make some moves to change things up?

Considering the Pacers are still trying to figure out how to incorporate and best utilize all of the new faces, starting that process over at this point could simply add to the frustrations instead of minimizing it. But of course, that would depend on the type of deal the team could strike.

What type of deal do you think Bird could make that would improve the Pacers this season?