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A Pacers-Knicks Playoff History Primer



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After advancing to the Jap Convention Semifinals on Thursday night time, the Pacers will face a well-recognized foe of their subsequent playoff collection: the New York Knicks.

PLAYOFF CENTRAL: Observe Indiana’s Postseason Run at >>

The Pacers and Knicks have an intensive historical past within the playoffs, having confronted off seven instances within the postseason, together with six instances in an eight-year span. It is a rivalry so well-known, they’ve made films about it.

As the 2 groups put together for the newest chapter of their rivalry, let’s take a stroll again by means of reminiscence lane to debate the historical past between the 2 franchises. From Reggie Miller and Spike Lee to Roy Hibbert and Carmelo Anthony, here is how the Pacers-Knicks rivalry has unfolded over time.

1993: Starks’ Headbutt of Miller Sparks a Rivalry

The Knicks had been heavy favorites within the first playoff assembly between the 2 groups. New York was the highest seed within the East after profitable 60 video games within the common season, whereas the Pacers snuck into the playoffs because the eighth seed with a .500 report.

The Knicks took the primary two video games of the collection at Madison Sq. Backyard, however the collection is finest remembered for what occurred in Sport 3 at Market Sq. Area. As Miller recalled within the 30-for-30 documentary, “Successful Time,” when he went to shake fingers with Knicks guard John Starks previous to the beginning of the sport, Starks ignored him. “From that time, on I made it a mission — I’ll embarrass this child,” Miller stated.

Miller was feeling himself on this explicit night time, flattening pictures and exchanging trash discuss with Starks after each make. At one level within the third quarter, the 2 got here face-to-face close to midcourt. Starks misplaced his cool, headbutting Miller, who threw himself backwards in theatrical style. Starks was ejected and the Pacers rolled to a 116-93 win, with Miller scoring a game-high 36 factors.

The Knicks would win Sport 4 two days later to shut out the best-of-five collection, however the rivalry was formally born.

1994: Miller Taunts Spike Lee in Comeback Victory

Maybe essentially the most iconic picture of Reggie Miller to Pacers followers is him making the choke signal at acclaimed director and Knicks superfan Spike Lee. That picture is from Sport 5 of the 1994 Jap Convention Finals, when Miller led the Pacers to an unbelievable comeback at Madison Sq. Backyard.

The fifth-seeded Pacers had made their deepest postseason run, knocking off the Orlando Magic within the first spherical earlier than upsetting high seed Atlanta within the Jap Convention Semifinals to arrange one other assembly with the Knicks with a visit to the NBA Finals on the road.

Each groups received the primary two video games on their homecourt, so the collection shifted again to New York for Sport 5 knotted at 2-2. The Knicks appeared on their option to one other victory, up 70-58 getting into the fourth quarter.

However Miller caught fireplace within the last body, erupting for 25 factors within the fourth quarter. As he hit shot after shot, he made positive to let Lee know, repeatedly shouting towards’s Lee’s courtside seat on his approach again up the ground. The Pacers outscored New York 35-16 within the fourth quarter to steal the sport, with Miller ending with 39 factors.

In his postgame interview with NBC’s Ahmad Rashad, Miller smiled stated “Spike Who?” when requested about his interactions with Lee.

As memorable as that second was for Pacers followers, the Knicks bought the final snigger on this explicit collection, profitable Sport 6 in Indianapolis after which closing out the collection in Sport 7 at Madison Sq. Backyard.

1995: 8 Factors in 9 Seconds, Pacers Get rid of Knicks for First Time

If Miller doing the choke signal is essentially the most well-known picture from his profession, his most memorable second got here in the identical area one yr later.

The Pacers and Knicks met for the third straight yr in 1995, this time within the Jap Convention Semifinals. In Sport 1, the Knicks once more appeared to have wrapped up a victory, up by six with 18.7 seconds remaining.

RELATED: “I Virtually Fell Over”: An Oral Historical past of Reggie Miller’s 8 Factors in 9 Seconds >>

However as soon as once more, Miller rose the event. After hitting a fast three out of a timeout. Knicks ahead Anthony Mason tried to inbound Greg Anthony, however Anthony slipped and Mason’s move went immediately into the fingers of Miller. Miller then rapidly stepped exterior the 3-point line and drilled one other three to tie the sport.

Within the ensuing confusion, Pacers ahead Sam Mitchell fouled Starks, not realizing the sport was now tied. As soon as once more, Miller taunted Starks and the Knicks guard missed each free throws. Miller rebounded the second and was fouled by Starks.

On the opposite finish, Miller did not miss his free throws, making each to seal essentially the most unbelievable victory in franchise historical past.

Miller’s postgame interview with NBC’s Dan Hicks is iconic in its personal proper, with Miller’s trademark bravado on full show.

“Mason choked, he threw it to me, I hit a 3…John Starks choked, we got here up huge,” a euphoric Miller recalled, then closed the interview by exclaiming, “We really feel we are able to sweep this crew. That is for you, Indiana!”

It would not be a sweep, however the Pacers would finally prevail. Indiana bought up 3-1, however the Knicks took the following two video games to drive a winner-take-all Sport 7 at Madison Sq. Backyard.

The ultimate recreation got here all the way down to the wire, with Miller dueling with Knicks star heart Patrick Ewing, each gamers ending with 29 factors. However Ewing missed a layup within the last seconds, permitting the Pacers to flee with a 97-95 victory.

Pacers radio broadcaster Mark Boyle celebrated the second by shouting, “Ding dong! The witch is lifeless!” because the Blue & Gold lastly bested the Knicks.

1998: Extra Miller Heroics, Pacers Prevail Once more

The Pacers and Knicks did not meet within the playoffs for the following two seasons, however discovered themselves matched up as soon as once more within the 1998 Jap Convention Semifinals.

The Pacers took the primary two video games at Market Sq. Area earlier than the Knicks received Sport 3 at Madison Sq. Backyard. Sport 4 was best recreation within the collection and featured much more heroics from Miller, who hit a 3-pointer with 5.1 seconds left to drive extra time.

Indiana pulled away within the additional session for a 118-107 victory, behind 38 factors from Miller. Rik Smits added 23 and Mark Jackson had a double-double with 16 factors and 15 assists.

The Pacers closed out the collection in Sport 5 at dwelling, with Jackson recording the primary triple-double within the NBA playoffs in franchise historical past with 22 factors, 14 rebounds, and 13 assists.

1999: 4-Level Play Propels Knicks Upset

The Pacers wound up dropping in seven video games to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls within the 1998 Jap Convention Finals, however it felt prefer it was lastly Indiana’s yr in 1999 following Jordan’s retirement.

The second-seeded Pacers swept collection with Milwaukee and Philadelphia to advance to the Jap Convention Finals, the place they confronted the upstart Knicks, who received two collection because the eighth seed.

The 2 groups cut up a pair of video games in Indiana with Ewing notably injuring his Achilles in Sport 2, an ailment that may maintain him sidelined for the rest of the postseason.

Sport 3 was the turning level within the collection. Indiana led 91-88 within the closing seconds earlier than Knicks ahead Larry Johnson was fouled by Antonio Davis and hit a 3 (a name nonetheless thought of questionable by many Pacers followers). Johnson accomplished the four-point play to raise New York to victory.

The Pacers rebounded to win Sport 4, however the Knicks took the ultimate two video games of the collection, with Allan Houston’s 32-point efficiency in a close-out Sport 6 eliminating Indiana.

2000: Pacers Precise Revenge, Attain First NBA Finals

The Pacers and Knicks would meet once more within the Jap Convention Finals in 2000. This time, the Pacers bought their revenge.

The collection opened at Indiana’s new area, Conseco Fieldhouse (now Gainbridge Fieldhouse), the place the Pacers protected their dwelling court docket by sweeping the primary two video games. The Knicks did the identical in Video games 3 and 4 at Madison Sq. Backyard and the Pacers took Sport 5 again in Indianapolis.

In Sport 6, Miller had one other magical night time in what could be his last playoff recreation at Madison Sq. Backyard. The longer term Corridor of Famer scored 34 factors, going 10-for-19 from the sphere, 5-for-7 from 3-point vary, and 9-for-9 from the free throw line to raise Indiana to its first NBA Finals look in franchise historical past. As the ultimate buzzer sounded, an ecstatic Miller leapt into the arms of teammate Jalen Rose.

2013: Rivalry Renewed, Hibbert Blocks Carmelo to Seal Sequence Win

Whereas the Pacers-Knicks rivalry is finest remembered for these six playoff collection involving Miller, the 2 groups had yet another memorable postseason battle in 2013.

The third-seeded Pacers and second-seeded Knicks met within the Jap Convention Semifinals that season. The Pacers had been a younger upstart crew, led by All-Stars Paul George and Roy Hibbert, whereas the Knicks had a veteran squad constructed round scoring phenom Carmelo Anthony.

Indiana took Sport 1 in New York earlier than the Knicks rebounded to win Sport 2. The Pacers protected their dwelling court docket over the following two video games, taking Sport 3 behind 24 factors and 12 rebounds from Hibbert and Sport 4 because of 26 factors from George Hill and double-doubles by George and David West.

Anthony scored 28 factors in Sport 5 because the Knicks prolonged the collection, however the Pacers returned to Indianapolis with an opportunity to shut it out on their dwelling court docket. The Knicks would not make it straightforward.

Anthony dropped 39 factors in Sport 6 and the Knicks led 92-90 with 5 minutes to go. That is when Anthony spun previous George on the baseline and rose up for a right-hand slam. Hibbert was there to satisfy him on the rim, nonetheless, by some means having the energy to disclaim the dunk try.

That proved to be the turning level, because the Pacers outscored New York 16-7 the remainder of the best way en path to victory. Three gamers surpassed 20 factors for the Blue & Gold within the victory: Lance Stephenson (25 factors and 10 rebounds), George (23 factors), and Hibbert (21 factors, 12 boards, and 5 blocks.

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