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Twes
03-20-2009, 06:40 PM
I moved to Indiana back in 1993. The Pacers got good and won their first playoff series around that time and remained in contention for the next decade.

Did you have the feeling they were getting that good or was it a surprise? Did they suddenly gel out of the blue or was it a predictable progression with hope for things to come?

ChicagoJ
03-20-2009, 07:07 PM
The '91 team is still my all-time favorite Pacers team.

:brick:

They had everything but experience and mental toughness that Byron Scott eventually brought. They had the talent and brashness to beat the higher seeded teams on the road but then blow a game at home when the more experienced team turned up the defense all the way. It was popular to blame "chemistry" at the time, but the moves to "improve chemistry" never yielded results (or in the case of Pooh Richardson, backfired) until Detlef was traded Derrick and of course Byron was brought it.

They stayed at 0.500 for too long, though, and the feeling was that they might have peaked until Brownie and more importantly Byron were imported for the purpose of bringing defensive toughness and a winner's composure to the team.

Unclebuck
03-20-2009, 08:40 PM
The '91 team is still my all-time favorite Pacers team.

:brick:

They had everything but experience and mental toughness that Byron Scott eventually brought. They had the talent and brashness to beat the higher seeded teams on the road but then blow a game at home when the more experienced team turned up the defense all the way. It was popular to blame "chemistry" at the time, but the moves to "improve chemistry" never yielded results (or in the case of Pooh Richardson, backfired) until Detlef was traded Derrick and of course Byron was brought it.

They stayed at 0.500 for too long, though, and the feeling was that they might have peaked until Brownie and more importantly Byron were imported for the purpose of bringing defensive toughness and a winner's composure to the team.



J you are telling about 10% of the story.

I'll post more on this later

Kaufman
03-20-2009, 10:18 PM
I think for me the big thing that made me think that this was going to be the real deal comes down to one person --- Larry Brown. And his track record with San Antonio and then the brief session with the Clippers. When he came here, I knew things were going to get better in a hurry. I didn't like some of the lead up - Chuck Person traded a few years prior, and then Detlef getting traded that preseason, but after that stuff settled down, and the first 40 - 50 games the team basically learned one another - it was smooth sailing afterwards.

count55
03-20-2009, 10:25 PM
I think for me the big thing that made me think that this was going to be the real deal comes down to one person --- Larry Brown. And his track record with San Antonio and then the brief session with the Clippers. When he came here, I knew things were going to get better in a hurry. I didn't like some of the lead up - Chuck Person traded a few years prior, and then Detlef getting traded that preseason, but after that stuff settled down, and the first 40 - 50 games the team basically learned one another - it was smooth sailing afterwards.

Well, it was three guys:

Larry Brown - he brought the credibility

Reggie Miller - he bought completely into what Brown was trying to do, and the rest of the team followed.

Derrick McKey - I consider that Detlef-McKey trade to be the key to the 90's. It's a long story, but I thought Derrick taught them how to trust each other, and play together.

Unclebuck
03-20-2009, 10:35 PM
Well, it was three guys:

Larry Brown - he brought the credibility

Reggie Miller - he bought completely into what Brown was trying to do, and the rest of the team followed.

Derrick McKey - I consider that Detlef-McKey trade to be the key to the 90's. It's a long story, but I thought Derrick taught them how to trust each other, and play together.

Agree with all that. Also the timing was right. Reggie was ready, Rik was ready. Dale had two years under his belt, Antonio was signed, Woody gave us some toughnes at the point, after 4 first round exits, the team was ready. But more than anything larry taught them how to win. (Byron scott was important, but I think a lot of people over rate his contribution) I'll go to my grave though saying that Mckey was the Pacers most valauble player during both the '94 and '95 seasons - sentiments echoed by Phil jackson

count55
03-20-2009, 10:38 PM
Yes...I don't mean to diminish Byron. I still get warm fuzzies when I think about the letter published in the Star after Vancouver took him in the expansion draft (*******s). He was the guy I wanted to hire when he went for Isiah.

count55
03-20-2009, 10:39 PM
Yes...I don't mean to diminish Byron. I still get warm fuzzies when I think about the letter published in the Star after Vancouver took him in the expansion draft (*******s). He was the guy I wanted to hire when he went for Isiah.

As to the original question...I think it was a surprise how fast it turned around, but I think we had been expecting the team to take a leap. They had good talent, but they were (or seemed to be) underachieving.

Unclebuck
03-20-2009, 10:44 PM
As to the original question...I think it was a surprise how fast it turned around, but I think we had been expecting the team to take a leap. They had good talent, but they were (or seemed to be) underachieving.

Not so sure about that. My memory is that most people were saying he team needed major changes as they started the season 17-24. Fans were irate over the Det for Derrick trade. I'll never forget a fan walking by Donnie at MSA and just screaming at him about the Det trade (if you remember where he used to sit at MSA, it wasn't dificult to walk right in front of him)

count55
03-20-2009, 10:51 PM
Not so sure about that. My memory is that most people were saying he team needed major changes as they started the season 17-24. Fans were irate over the Det for Derrick trade. I'll never forget a fan walking by Donnie at MSA and just screaming at him about the Det trade (if you remember where he used to sit at MSA, it wasn't dificult to walk right in front of him)

Well, the expectation I spoke of was prior to the season. I didn't do boards, and I wasn't in contact with many other Pacer fans at the time, but my take was that they were close, but just couldn't break through. I was expecting them, even at 17-24, to be a playoff team. My thought in that Houston game was, "OK. That's it. They've got it now." It was the only time (as an adult), that I've ever looked at a single game as "the light switch going on."

I do admit that I was surprised that they became one of the top two or three teams in the league that season, but I was pretty confident, even at 17-24, that they were going to be good.

BlueNGold
03-20-2009, 11:10 PM
It seemed like Larry Brown was the difference at the time...but I think it was a combination of some additional factors. Yes, Byron Scott brought a winning attitude or expectation...and got every bit of credit possible for that. IMO, it had more to do with the fact many of the players were entering their prime including Miller, Smits and McKey....along with the fact McKey was a much better fit than Det because the team needed some athleticism and length on defense...more than a little bit more offense than Derrick. Also, the Davis guys brought some energy and toughness to the table. It was all just good timing and the pieces fit together very well. Miller was a great player, but as a team they were greater than the sum of the parts.

So, as usual, it was not any one factor....but Brown was an excellent coach nonetheless. The team became very, very good...and needed all of these factors to be that good given the fact no one on the team was a legit superstar ala MJ, Barkley, Magic, Shaq, Kobe, etc.

ChicagoJ
03-20-2009, 11:46 PM
Its that the 91, 92, and 93 teams teased us that made the breakthrough satisfying. We aren't even to that point with the current team - good enough to feel like we "should" be a contender because we can beat great teams on the road but bad enough to **** us off when we lose to average teams at home. We're a long way from that today. Those were necessary steps in building the mid-90s Pacers, and we'll see it again in the early-10s Pacers. Eventually.

If you undo the Minnesota trade, but still move Det for Derrick, you might have a team with enough offensive firepower to beat NYK, Orlando, and Houston. Those teams lost in the ECFs because their great defense wasn't enough to cover up for a two-dimensional offense.

It was the smaller tweaks - Det for Derrick, bringing in AD, signging Bryon that made the difference. And yes, for two/ 2.5 years Brownie did a lot of the right things.

ChicagoJ
03-20-2009, 11:53 PM
(Byron scott was important, but I think a lot of people over rate his contribution)

That must be the fundamental difference between us. Byron Scott was the one that brought winning basketball to Indiana. Not Larry Brown.

Byron brought three rings. Instant credibility. Said to Reggie, "you don't have any idea how to practice like a champion. Watch me, and learn from me." Told the team, "this isn't Magic's summer pickup league, and this is how we practiced with Magic." He brought a Pat Riley-ism that Brownie - who a decade later finally got an NBA Finals experience - has never actually had.

Brownie is a great turnaround guy. But he's not a championship caliber coach. We got to the next level because Byron didn't just bring us 10ppg and a sweet jumper off the bench. He brought WINNING.

Which can never be over-rated.

Now I agree that the other player that brought a winning mindset was Derrick. He did it in a much different way, of course, with his willingness to do whatever he was asked to do (including taking a role that appeared to be smaller because of what didn't show up in the boxscore.) As I recall, Derrick started the season with a tweaked hamstring (we should have known then... :mad: ). By the time he was healthy and Byron was signed and Reggie started listening to him... that's when the team took off.

RamBo_Lamar
03-21-2009, 04:09 AM
At that time, I though trading away Person and bringing in Sam Mitchell was the best
thing they could have done for the team. The team had too many scorer mentalities
and not enough defense and was way out of balance. Sam Mitchell was one of the
league's most tenacious defenders at the SF position, and Person's departure allowed
for Reggie to finally blossom into the man...particularly at crunch time.

That I felt, was the beggining of the team finally turning the corner and starting to
become really good.

kester99
03-21-2009, 04:26 AM
Bottom line, for me, was that the team was built piece by piece. There was no sudden transformation. The team evolved, and grew, together. When the Pacers of that era trounced someone, it was with surgical skill, teamwork at a high order, not the result of a superstar draft, but the result of a finely meshed, intuitive familiarity between the players.

That approach to winning takes time to develop, and can be side-tracked easily with a bad trade, or poorly considered coaching change.

And I have to assume that the point of this thread is to draw a comparison between that era and the current state of afffairs. To that point: We are not likely to draft the next Michael Jordan. We have to field the right pieces, and we have to give those pieces time to gel as a team. Adding a coach for the long-haul would be a nice touch, also. I sure hope JOB's replacement isn't seen as an interim 'just get us to the play-offs' guy.

ABADays
03-21-2009, 08:13 AM
Boy. that sure was an exciting time. Hadn't felt that way since the ABA championships.

Will Galen
03-21-2009, 08:18 AM
I moved to Indiana back in 1993. The Pacers got good and won their first playoff series around that time and remained in contention for the next decade.

Did you have the feeling they were getting that good or was it a surprise? Did they suddenly gel out of the blue or was it a predictable progression with hope for things to come?

Until Larry Brown came along it seemed like the best we could expect was a .500 team. So yes it was a surprise.

McKeyFan
03-21-2009, 08:29 AM
Danny = Reggie
Rush = McKey
Roy = Smits

We still don't have a Davis brother or a Mark Jackson or a Larry Brown.

Thoughts?

BillS
03-21-2009, 09:57 AM
Brandon doesn't look evil at all, it's hard to imagine him as Satan :zip:

Los Angeles
03-21-2009, 10:30 AM
I remember Reggie's first 50 point game. It was the era of MJ, and I believed that the only way to win was to have a guy that could score at will.

It was Reggie's 50 point game when I finally felt a glimmer of hope that we could finally have a winning future. Of course, it took a long time to get there. :banghead:

pacergod2
03-21-2009, 10:42 AM
This is easily my favorite thread since being a member. Thanks guys.

I feel like the approach we took in last year's draft is bringing us closer to the greater than the sum of all parts type of team. We are still early in THIS transformation.

Kid Minneapolis
03-21-2009, 10:45 AM
Bottom line, for me, was that the team was built piece by piece. There was no sudden transformation. The team evolved, and grew, together. When the Pacers of that era trounced someone, it was with surgical skill, teamwork at a high order, not the result of a superstar draft, but the result of a finely meshed, intuitive familiarity between the players.

That approach to winning takes time to develop, and can be side-tracked easily with a bad trade, or poorly considered coaching change.

And I have to assume that the point of this thread is to draw a comparison between that era and the current state of afffairs. To that point: We are not likely to draft the next Michael Jordan. We have to field the right pieces, and we have to give those pieces time to gel as a team. Adding a coach for the long-haul would be a nice touch, also. I sure hope JOB's replacement isn't seen as an interim 'just get us to the play-offs' guy.

I agree. We accumulated savvy veterans over a 5-6 year stretch and it was some great basketball to watch in the late '90s. They played using their heads instead of leaning on athleticism, and it was fun watching those "old guys" school all the younger athletic teams. There were a lot of players brought in during the mid-90s that had big impact. Reggie and Smits were obviously the big players already. Dale and Antonio were drafted. McKey and Scott were brought in. Mark Jackson came in (one of the biggest moves, in my mind), and then Chris Mullin joined us in '97... but then even the roleplayers were key, like Workman, Big Smooth, Travis Best, Austin Croshere, Jalen Rose (who really blossomed in Indy)...

Man, I loved that team around the '98-'00 years. But that team was like 7 years in the making, if not more.

idioteque
03-21-2009, 11:16 AM
Danny = Reggie
Rush = McKey
Roy = Smits

We still don't have a Davis brother or a Mark Jackson or a Larry Brown.

Thoughts?

I don't mean to trivialize what the Davis brothers did for us, but I don't think it would be hard for the Pacers to find a couple of enforcers. With the emergence of Hibbert though it is clear that we need to pursue a Davis to Roy's Smits. Maybe DeJuan Blair is that guy. Maybe we don't even need to use a pick on this guy. I don't know.

It will be much harder to get a great PG for this team. It is obvious that that great PG is not on our roster right now. It is certainly not TJ Ford who I would like to move at the first good opportunity. Brandon Jennings from Europe is said to be a pass-first PG. He COULD slip to us in the draft since he is keeping a low profile right now while other players in the US inflate their draft standing in the NCAA Tournament. I wouldn't expect it to happen but it could happen.

The other possibility is luring a good PG through using Murph and Dun's contracts in a couple of years. Murph and Dun are peaking right now and probably aren't part of our future, although I could see a somewhat aging Murph playing a Sam Perkins type role for us.

Kaufman
03-21-2009, 11:19 AM
I remember Reggie's first 50 point game. It was the era of MJ, and I believed that the only way to win was to have a guy that could score at will.

It was Riggie's 50 point game when I finally felt a glimmer of hope that we could finally have a winning future. Of course, it took a long time to get there. :banghead:

just out of curiosity - reggie has only had one 50 point game right? the 57 in Charlotte?

BlueNGold
03-21-2009, 11:44 AM
I don't mean to trivialize what the Davis brothers did for us, but I don't think it would be hard for the Pacers to find a couple of enforcers. With the emergence of Hibbert though it is clear that we need to pursue a Davis to Roy's Smits. Maybe DeJuan Blair is that guy. Maybe we don't even need to use a pick on this guy. I don't know.

It's a lot harder to get a top notch PG...but Dale Davis's do not grow on trees either. Didn't both of those guys crack the all-star team at some point? That's quite an accomplishment.

All the Pacers need to do to improve their record and make the playoffs is acquire that type of player and slow the pace down a bit. Basically, focus on ball movement and defense. Why that's not obvious, IDK.

count55
03-21-2009, 12:34 PM
just out of curiosity - reggie has only had one 50 point game right? the 57 in Charlotte?

Yup...in 1992.

Reggie only had 8 other games over 40, with the highest of those being 44.

We won all 9 games.

Los Angeles
03-21-2009, 12:35 PM
just out of curiosity - reggie has only had one 50 point game right? the 57 in Charlotte?

I thought there were more - I'm not a stat hound, so I'm the last person you should ask. Maybe I'm just combining some games that were in the 40's.

All I remember was that game I'm thinking of was in 1992? Early in the season sometime. November? December?. Definitely against Charlotte though.

EDIT: I told you not to ask me! :laugh: Thanks for the assist, Count.

Naptown_Seth
03-21-2009, 10:18 PM
Well, it was three guys:

Larry Brown - he brought the credibility

Reggie Miller - he bought completely into what Brown was trying to do, and the rest of the team followed.

Derrick McKey - I consider that Detlef-McKey trade to be the key to the 90's. It's a long story, but I thought Derrick taught them how to trust each other, and play together.
Disclosure - Det is my favorite Pacer all-time, just ahead of Jax. But I also loved what McKey was and had little problem with his reluctance to score (thus my interest in Rush too).

But I also think McKey for Det is overrated in terms of taking it to another level. That was a Brown thing because Brown needs to tinker always. The team of Mike Williams-Reggie-Det-Dale-Rik could have crushed people too, especially if Tony and Woody and then Byron Scott are coming of the bench.

At the time the justification was "not enough shots for Reggie, Rik and Det" but then right after that everyone wanted McKey to score more. And the Mike-Chuck for Pooh-Mitchell trade, one of the worst they ever made, chasing after a "star" PG. Williams' injury is the only reason he's not remembered more, and before that happened he only set the NBA record for consecutive FT's made in Minny. Pooh? Worthless.


Frankly the breakthough was a huge surprise and came when the team didn't look as strong as they had. Detlef was coming off an ALL-STAR season and at the time Reggie had only gone once himself. Add Det's 2 6th man wins and you just traded the team's most decorated player and certainly the most all-around contributor. The guy flirted with trip dubs every night.

Add to it that they didn't exactly roar out of the gates or really even into the playoffs. People that say they saw the Magic sweep coming are liars, period. It was a shock, it was mind blowing. It was Shaq getting dumped out of nowhere. It would be no more surprising if this squad got in and did the same thing to Dwight.

The breakthrough squad, the team that could have won big had it not been for Bob Hill, is Chicago J's team. They had outstanding talent, decent depth, and 2 big time shot makers on the roster.

Isiah and Bob, the two biggest wasters of Pacers talent ever. It depresses me to think of what better coaches could have done with their squads.



Sidenote - greatest Pacers game I ever attended, game 4 1991 vs Boston. Reggie and Chuck came back out for a curtain call, the crowd was insane and we really believed (for good reason it turned out) that they could go back to Boston and steal game 5 from Larry.

21-39 for 57 points - Chuck + Reggie. Det 40 minutes off the bench. Williams with 9 dimes and 5 steals.


Now I didn't get to go to the 1998 games, but I did go to game 5 vs LA in 2000. Not the same, not nearly as electric even if it was the Finals and we did put a foot in their rear that night.

Naptown_Seth
03-21-2009, 10:25 PM
I was in Charlotte for that game.

Oh sure, my dad couldn't come up with tickets, but technically I was in town. You know how brutal it is to live with that? I mean the odds of them being in town during a visit was tough enough, but to add that to the mix. So freaking close, so far away.

Naptown_Seth
03-21-2009, 10:34 PM
That must be the fundamental difference between us. Byron Scott was the one that brought winning basketball to Indiana. Not Larry Brown.Don't even get me fired up on that one. I would ask people to show me just where Brown took the SAME roster as left behind and won anything with it? Show me where he didn't add guys like David Robinson AND Sean Elliot before winning?

And yet he had/has this rep as Mr. Playoffs and salvation. Just not true. Even Detroit kept on the same level as Rick had them till after they added Sheed for free. Gee, think that might've helped them?

Clips - to me that's the one true example.


Having ranted that let me match that with saying that you keep Det and win (although I'd be happy to get McKey for a different **cough Tank *** player). Compared to Bob Hill Larry Brown is John Wooden. Brown is a high quality coach. Better than Rick? I don't really think so. He's no cold fish, but Rick doesn't play the press games and insist on horrible trades (season that shan't be named).

But Brown does go in that mix with other quality guys like Rick, Byron, JVGundy (Stan too I think), Skiles, McMillan and a few others. I might put Sloan, Phil and Pop ahead of that group, but on the tier just below the masters you have guys that can get teams of decent talent on track.

Then you have Bob Hill or Versace. They could take a talented team right into the toilet. Then you start trading players and yet nothing improves. How magically coincidental. :)

Okay, end of bitterness. :D I just hate that Hill got Mike traded and that Larry just had to have Det gone. They added freaking Antonio Davis that year. They added Byron Scott. I say you keep Det and find out if it works first before assuming you needed to get McKey for #11. He sure didn't seem to take Seattle into the crapper, did he.

count55
03-21-2009, 10:44 PM
That team never turns it around if it has Det instead of McKey.

ChicagoJ
03-21-2009, 10:59 PM
Well, I really liked Det until the team finally blossomed with Derrick. Derrick was more of a difference maker in ways that don't show in the box score. Det was closer to Clark Kellogg and Shareef - except that Det stuffed stats on a 0.500 team instead of a lottery team.

In full disclosure: once Chuck was traded, Det was my favorite player on the team. I appreciate Reggie's career, but there was never a time that he was ever my favorite Pacer.

Los Angeles
03-21-2009, 11:13 PM
Well, I really liked Det until the team finally blossomed with Derrick. Derrick was more of a difference maker in ways that don't show in the box score. Det was closer to Clark Kellogg and Shareef - except that Det stuffed stats on a 0.500 team instead of a lottery team.

In full disclosure: once Chuck was traded, Det was my favorite player on the team. I appreciate Reggie's career, but there was never a time that he was ever my favorite Pacer.

Who was your favorite pacer in 04/05?

ChicagoJ
03-21-2009, 11:13 PM
At that time, I though trading away Person and bringing in Sam Mitchell was the best
thing they could have done for the team. The team had too many scorer mentalities
and not enough defense and was way out of balance. Sam Mitchell was one of the
league's most tenacious defenders at the SF position, and Person's departure allowed
for Reggie to finally blossom into the man...particularly at crunch time.

That I felt, was the beggining of the team finally turning the corner and starting to
become really good.

I disagree. Trading Chuck and Mike for a piece of Pooh and Spare Change Mitchell was supposed to be a "won't make the Pacers better, but we'll have better chemistry move." Maybe Mike was a selfish player - especially defensively when he gambled too much for steals and put Rik in a difficult situation, but we know that Bo Hill had even bigger problems with Pooh. Remember, Dreiling was starting ahead of Rick because Reggie and Mike gave up way too much dribble penetration...

So we substantially downgraded at SF to Spare Change, and still had chemistry problems. That trade actually made us worse, and Bo Hill did a fine job of keeping the team in the playoffs.

Now, Bo Hill and Jim O'Brien are a lot alike, especially with their Pittino connections. Lifelong gym rats that don't really care about being in charge of the roster - its their job to maximize the team they've got. That's not the same thing as Brownie or Riley or Jackson. Bo took a young team that was still developing its identity and got them to 0.500 and the playoffs with regularity. Or has he said a number of times over the past 15 years, in spite of having his key frontcourt player traded away (and even Brownie complained about the talent drain of trading Chuck PLUS Mike for Pooh and Spare Change... God, I wouldn't have traded Tank Thompson for those two - it still would have been a big outflow of talent.) O'Brien hasn't been able to do that yet. I generally blame O'Brien's reliance on gimmicks, but Bo realized he didn't have the personnel or mindset for a lockdown defensive team so he pulled together a gameplan to get them to 0.500 and the playoffs. Something O'Brien hasn't accomplished with trying to force a reasonably conventional roster (square pegs) into his gimmicks (round holes.)

Bob Hill gets a lot of blame for a roster that he wasn't in charge of. Brownie could not have taken Bo's roster to the ECFs, he would have insisted on a bunch of tweaks. And sure enough, Donnie gave them to him. (But what choice did Donnie have? The Simons were thinking about bringing in Pitino or Bird to replace Donnie and he had to present to them that he and Larry were the better alternative when they let Bo's contract expire.)

ChicagoJ
03-21-2009, 11:15 PM
Who was your favorite pacer in 04/05?

Byron Scott and after he arrived, Mark Jackson (who was my co-favorite-non-Pacer - with Person - before we traded for him.)

Then Jalen during the Larry Bird era.

Los Angeles
03-21-2009, 11:28 PM
Byron Scott and after he arrived, Mark Jackson (who was my co-favorite-non-Pacer - with Person - before we traded for him.)

Then Jalen during the Larry Bird era.

And the year of the brawl/the year Reggie retired? Who was it? I want a name!

ChicagoJ
03-21-2009, 11:38 PM
Jermaine O'Neal after Jalen was traded. Including that year when he tried so hard to carry the team in honor of Reggie's last season.

Pacers
03-22-2009, 06:56 PM
We traded Pooh and some spare change and got Mark, so it wasn't all for naught.

Knucklehead Warrior
03-22-2009, 08:31 PM
Add to it that they didn't exactly roar out of the gates or really even into the playoffs. People that say they saw the Magic sweep coming are liars, period. It was a shock, it was mind blowing.


No it wasn't. We were on an 8-game win streak going into the playoffs. Orlando never knew what hit 'em, it was their first year in the playoffs. The sweep was numbing sure, but not the wins and not beating ATL 4-2 after that.

ChicagoJ
03-22-2009, 08:58 PM
We traded Pooh and some spare change and got Mark, so it wasn't all for naught.

No, we kept Spare Change for a while longer. We traded Pooh, Malik Sealy (drafted after we traded for Spare Change) and draft rights to Eric Piatkowski (after we traded for Spare Change.)

You could have easily subbed Mike Williams into that trade and accomplished the same purpose (and heck, it might not have cost you both Malik and Eric... I would like to have kept Malik if we could have...)

ChicagoJ
03-22-2009, 09:00 PM
No it wasn't. We were on an 8-game win streak going into the playoffs. Orlando never knew what hit 'em, it was their first year in the playoffs. The sweep was numbing sure, but not the wins and not beating ATL 4-2 after that.

Agreed. Byron hit a huge shot to win Game #1. Orlando was D-U-N done right then and there.

Slick Pinkham
03-22-2009, 11:39 PM
When I saw what a defensive beast Derrick McKey was, what Dale became, and Antonio also to an extent, with Larry Brown adding to that solid team defensive principles... that is when I began thinking that we had a team that would compete for an NBA title. Reggie was a constant, but what separates that era from what came before or since was a commitment to great team defense.