Shaw came back at him during a timeout: "I'm not backing down. I'm no pussy!" Shaw's normal coolness was gone, and Ford loved it. Shaw played better from then on, getting key relief help on Hardaway from Brown. Even reserve forward Eddie Pinckney lent a hand, with a hellacious brand of defense on high-scoring Mitch Richmond. In shredding the Warriors' half-court trap, the Celtics moved the ball better than at any time since their 1985-86 championship season, zipping it from one player to another without even a dribble, and at one point Bird shook his fist in the air, shouting, "Attaway, Pinckney!" It was meaningful, for Bird rarely directed praise at Pinckney. A big three-pointer by Bird with 6:15 left gave Boston a 106-93 lead, and the Celtics coasted to a 128-112 victory from there. Ford still hadn't cleared his bench late in the game, and the Warriors' All-Star forward, Chris Mullin, mildly irritated, asked Casey, as he took the ball out of bounds near the Celtics bench, "How many you guys want to win by?"
"Sorry, Chris," said Casey. "We have a clause in our contract for margin of victory."
After the game, Parish just couldn't let the Ford-Shaw exchange go by. The Celtics' veterans had taken to calling Shaw and Brown "Chris's sons," for they believed, halfheartedly anyway, that Ford was easy on Shaw and Brown. "One of your sons is talking back, Doc," said Parish, his deep bass cutting through the locker room noise. "Either take his car keys or ground him."
Shaw smiled. Ford smiled. The Celtics were 2-0 on the trip and 37-12 overall, the second-best record in the NBA, behind the Portland Trail Blazers' 40-9. McHale was hurt, but Bird was healthy and happy. It was easy to smile.
Schedules, schedules, schedules. The Celtics bus bound for The Forum and the Feb. 15 game—the third on the trip—with the Lakers sat in front of the Marriott, idling, while everyone waited for Pinckney.
"All right, who was supposed to bring Eddie down?" Ford said.
Actually, Pinckney was usually the least of Ford's worries. It was standard operating procedure on the road for Pinckney and Kleine to cab it over to the arena a couple of hours before their teammates to get in some extra work. But Pinckney had decided to take a nap before this game and had overslept.
"One-fifty, Pinckney," said Bird, when Pinckney sheepishly ambled onto the bus 10 minutes late. "Cash."
Ford was trying to be angry, although his heart really wasn't in it. "Did you hear me this morning in the meeting when I said 5:30?" he asked.
Before Pinckney could respond, Bird yelled from the back of the bus, "I'm sorry, what was that, Doc? We couldn't hear you back here."