Originally written on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 5/18/12
They say small-market NBA teams who can’t attract superstars have to build slowly and economically. Knowing that makes Indiana Pacers President Larry Bird’s being named 2011-12 NBA Executive of the Year that much sweeter — in many ways, it’s representative of the job he’s done over a span of four years leading up to what his team did Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers thrashed the glitzy, superstar-laden Miami Heat 94-75 to take a 2-1 lead in the teams’ Eastern Conference Semifinal series. And it was Bird’s blue-collar boys — particularly center Roy Hibbert (19 points and a career-high 18 rebounds Thursday) — that collectively have outshined the Heat’s superstars in this series.  Thursday’s Game 3, and by extension the series to date, has shed light on what a methodical build of a franchise can accomplish: the same things one would expect from a star-heavy outfit like the Heat. Scoring. The Pacers wiped the floor with the Heat on the offensive end Thursday. Four of In...
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