I wish I would have known about this sooner, I happened to check hardwood classics and saw the Nets game was on so I caught the end of that but missed everything else.
I think the most interesting thing about that 2002 Nets game was seeing a lineup of Mercer, Reggie, Foster, JO, and Brad Miller on the floor at the same time. Or maybe it was Croshere and Bender getting extended minutes? Or maybe a game that knocked us out of the playoffs was played during "Reggie Miller Day" on NBATV? Or maybe it was seeing Isaiah Thomas on the sidelines??? I don't know, it was all very weird.
I was mad I missed the 2000 finals game 4 replay today, now I find out I missed a whole day of Reggie games
I would vote for the LJ 4 point play game in 1999 ECF. I know that is only the ECF, and I know we could still have won that series and we did win game 4 and had game 5 at home with the series 2-2, but to me LJ 4 point play was the most crushing loss.
Last edited by Unclebuck; 08-25-2014 at 03:01 PM.
LJ 4 is definitely the worst play in Pacer history, no doubt about that. But it's just hard for me to call it the worst loss when we came back and tied the series in Game 4. That series was lost because we blew Games 1 and 5 at home, which was just surreal when you think of how dominant the Reggie era Pacers were at home in those days. Overall, that was probably the worst series loss in Pacer history because that really was our best shot at a championship. A year later, we had Shaq in the way, who was in the best year of his career.
But if we win that Game 4 against the Lakers, then we have a tied 2-2 series in the NBA Finals with Game 5 in Indy. Best of three to win the championship. It would have completely changed the series. The magnitude of that loss was just huge. I still don't think that we would have won the series if we won Game 4, but I think it definitely would have gone to Game 7. And who knows what could have happened. That OT Game 4 loss was just crushing. We've had a lot of bad ECF's losses over the years, but only once have we had the chance to tie an NBA Finals at 2-2. We at least avenged the 99 Knicks defeat, but there was never any avenging the Finals.
The absolute highest of highs and lowest of lows was going to Game 4 of the NBA finals as a 12 year old kid.
Damn you Travis Best and your need to dribble out 13 seconds of the shot clock and shoot a fade away 16 footer with SHAQ switched out on you.
Looking back at it 14 years later. I do not see how the Pacers could have won that series. The Lakers with Shaq at his best was just too good. To this day Shag in that series was IMO by far the most dominant player ever to play the Pacers in the playoffs.
----------------- Reggie Miller
I am not sure if I could put one of those above the other they were both crushing blows. I know we tied up the Knicks series but it was the first time I felt that the league itself would never let the Pacers win a title if a big market like Chicago or NY was even remotely in contention. I was there for the Lakers game and that one was on Larry Bird, I will never forgive him for his play call at the end of that game. Fill the floor with shooters and go for the win damnit!
I have no doubt that if the Pacers had managed to win Game 4 of the Finals that they'd lose the 5th and 6th games. Shaq would've rampaged the whole team in an angry effort in game 5, the Lakers were gaining steam the whole series, the Kobe injury was a main reason why they won game 3, and the Lakers ditched game 5.
----------------- Reggie Miller
The Pacers' owned the series' only real blowout. Were an OT loss away from going back to LA leading the series 3-2. And were in game 6 in the final two minutes and just needed a shot to fall as the clock was ticking down.
I think it's a myth that the Pacers never had a chance against LA. Some people act like we were swept 4-0 or were backdoor swept 1-4 after stealing a game or something. It was not going to be easy but I think we played them hard and had a couple winnable games that we just didn't get it done. But we were right there....
I remember reading on these forums a few weeks ago someone talking about how the Lakers had easily handled us in the closeout game 6. I'd forgotten exactly how the game went, but I didn't remember thinking we were manhandled or anything. And then I caught a replay just a few days after that. Imagine my surprise to see the Pacers in the closing seconds with a shot to tie or maybe even take the lead.
Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.
"A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."
I feel that the best team of that Laker dynasty was when they went against us in the Finals with Glenn Rice
The best team was the next year where they went 15-1 in the playoffs. In 2000, they had a couple of close calls (Sacramento and Portland took them to the distance....Portland almost beat them). In 2001, however, they just completely bulldozed everyone. Kobe was considerably better in 2001 than he was in 2000. The 2001 duo of Shaq and Kobe has to be the best playoff duo ever.
tough to say...the 2000 team was the most focused but their inexperience almost did them in (they stumbled around in the postseason...taken to the limit by both #8 seed Sacramento and rival Portland)
The 2001 team gave zero ****s about the regular season, but they had possibly the greatest postseason run ever. Aside from one game (which took a near-flawless effort by the entire sixer team), they smashed everyone. Total embarrassment. Not for one minute did you think any other team could compete with them.
All of their role players played like stars.
Derek Fisher's numbers from that year's western conference finals:
3PT: 75% (15/20)
Last edited by Kstat; 08-26-2014 at 02:18 AM.
Division Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
Conference Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 2005
NBA Champions 1989, 1990, 2004
There are two types of quarterbacks in the league: Those whom over time, the league figures out ... and those who figure out the league.
If your goal is to maximize the current team's championship potential (as ours should have been in 1999), then you don't trade a proven solid veteran for an 18 year old kid who at best won't help you much for a couple of seasons. Even if Bender would have amounted to something, he was never going to help us in that 1999-00 season when we made the Finals. AD OTOH would have been another body to put on Shaq and at the very least would have taken some of the exhausting pressure off of the other players who had to defend him.
If we really felt that we had to trade AD, then we could have at least traded him for another veteran player who could have helped us in the Finals season. Trading him for a rookie would have been a fine move if we were a .500 team, but we were a team that was competing for the championship. After we got beat by the Knicks in 1999, we should have been hell bent on doing everything possible to improve in 1999-2000. Instead, Walsh gave up on that group the moment we got beat by 8 seed NY. AD was the first domino to fall in 1999, then he spent the 99-00 season waiting to blow up the rest of the squad. He never cared about improving a team that had just made three ECF's and an NBA Finals.
2001 gets the edge because of Kobe. In 2000, Kobe was a great player. In 2001, he transformed into a full out HOF superstar who was playing like one of the best players ever.
Kobe's 2000 playoff numbers: 21.1 PPG/4.5 RPG/4.4 APG
Kobe's 2001 playoff numbers: 29.4 PPG/7.3 RPG/6/1 APG
Shaq was a pretty much the same in 2001 as he was in 2000, i.e. he was a dominant unstoppable beast. In 2000, you could at least compete with them and put yourself in a position to win the series. Portland virtually had them beat in Game 7 that year. But Kobe's evolution the following year, combined with Shaq's continuing dominance, literally made them unbeatable. They waltzed through the regular season that year as both Shaq and Kobe played less than 70 games, but once they got their act together for the playoffs, it was game on. Also, as you mention, their role players played perfectly off of them.
Last edited by Sollozzo; 08-26-2014 at 10:35 AM.
2001 was when Kobe fully became Kobe. The best part about it was that Phil still had his mind completely honed in to the triangle. Kobe wanted it to be his team, but understood that things needed to go through Shaq early, while Kobe could take over late. It wasn't until the late 2000's that Kobe was able to bring this out of him again at such a high level.