New York Knicks fans would love nothing more than to defeat the Indiana Pacers in order to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. And while things are a bit tamer today, their rivalry used to be one of the biggest in the NBA.
In fact, it was 18 years ago last night that Reggie Miller took the air out of Madison Square Garden crowd, and delivered one of the most clutch performances in playoff basketball history.
During game 1 of the 1995 Eastern Conference semi finals, the Pacers were down 105-99 with 18.7 seconds left to go. Fans in the stands were beginning to file out as Reggie went off for eight points in 8.9 of those seconds.
This propelled the Pacers to victory and, as we all know, is when Miller gave Knicks super fan Spike Lee the death choke. Things today are a lot different, though, as the two became good friends despite their epic trash talk on that fateful day.
However that didn’t stop Spike from creeping up on Miller during the pregame broadcast and got him with the heavy videobomb. He was decked out in all of his Knicks gear, of course, and smirked as if he knew the beat down that was about to take place.
The Knicks went on to throttle Indiana with a final score of 105-79. Payback is a b*tch I guess. The best part of all this, however, is that Reggie was broadcasting the entire game. Things couldn’t have been more appropriate.
While he provided some “unbiased” commentary, New York fans let him know that they haven’t forgotten what he did to them nearly two decades ago. And what better way to pay disrespect than to chant, “Reggie sucks!”
The series shifts to Indiana on Saturday and with things knotted at 1-1, look for one team to take the driver’s seat and gain control. If the Knicks can prove to be more consistent in shooting the ball, then they can wrap it up in five. However if Indiana’s big men can dominate and muscle their way with some defense, then we will have a completely different story.
Either way, this will be a great series and an ode to the Knicks-Pacers rivalry match ups in the past. They should try to get Spike and Reggie in the booth together to call the plays when they return to MSG. Now that would be pure entertainment.