All December long the Back Home Again staff will be recounting the Top 25 Reggie Miller Moments of all-time as part of our “25 Days of Reggie.” The countdown will serve as a great way to get geared up for the start of the 2011 NBA season (and Christmas) as we remember and honor one of the NBA’s most clutch performers and the Indiana Pacers’ greatest player ever.
We’re back again talking about the 2000 playoffs, and with each great moment we write about it I realize that I’d forgotten just how memorable that run was. Remember how everyone (even Rik Smits) had their head shaved? Classic! This time we’re re-living a moment in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the 76ers, where Reggie and teammate Jalen Rose made NBA history.
It was Game One of the series at home in Conseco Fieldhouse. The Pacers were fresh off a surprisingly tough series with the Milwaukee Bucks, and looking towards a rematch with the New York Knicks in the Eastern Finals, but first a rough team from Philadelphia stood in their way. Well, Reggie and Jalen certainly set the tone for the series in this one. Each scored 40 points! Making them just the fourth pair of teammates to accomplish such a feat in the playoffs. The Pacers won the game 108 to 91, and eventually would win the series 4-2.
I think this is a good time to point out just how great a team Reggie had around him in 2000. Next to Reggie and Rose was a team full of veterans. In all, six players had more than 10 years in the NBA. These veterans included Mark Jackson, Chris Mullin, Derek McKey, Rik Smits, and Sam “Big Smooth” Perkins. You also had big Dale Davis, little Travis Best, and an upstart Austin Croshere. Man, I loved that team. The Pacers are lucky today to still have one player remaining from that squad – Jeff Foster (fun fact: Foster scored the last points at Market Square Arena – a two-handed flush!).