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May 19, 2005

It's Miller time

by Pratik Bhandari, Page Editor
For 18 years now, Pacers fans have been treated to one of the best clutch players in NBA history. Reggie Miller has been the go-to guy for Indiana, ever since he was a fresh-faced rookie out of UCLA. When the fourth quarter rolls around, opponents know they've got to keep tabs on Miller or they'll get buried by an avalanche of threes.

Miller has made 2,560 threes; the next closest is Dale Ellis with 1,719. He's also the man who once scored eight points over an 8.9-second span against the Knicks in Madison Square Garden in 1995. Now, the Pacers are facing elimination after a horrible 86-67 drubbing at The Palace.

There is no reason for the Pacers to be in the playoffs at all, much less for taking two games from the defending NBA champions. After the brawl at the beginning of the season, the Pacers lost Ron Artest until next season, Stephen Jackson for 30 games and Jermaine O'Neal for 25 games. Those three are, arguably, the Pacers best players, and they've missed a large part of the season, not to mention the crazy amount of injuries they Pacers have had. And yet, they made it to the playoffs.

Even without Artest, the Pacers beat the Celtics and then proceeded to steal two from the Pistons. How is it that a team, missing its best player in an age where everyone relies on the star to win made it this far? The Pacers have persevered through one of the most trying seasons in all of pro sports. What other team has had as many travails as this Pacer team? The one and only constant through the season has been Miller.

His veteran presence has helped to calm the relatively young team. His leadership has allowed them to put the events of the past behind them and to focus on winning. And above all, he has set an example of how to play on the court, and how to act off of it. Usually, Miller time begins in the fourth quarter, when his team is down and in need of some clutch shots.

This year, Miller time began November 19, 2004 on a cold day in Detroit. And, as always, Miller has delivered, guiding his team farther than anyone thought possible. Reggie Miller will retire at the end of this season, a sad thought for any basketball fan, no matter what team. He will leave behind a wonderful legacy, with stat lines full of points and steals and game-changing performances. But the most important thing about Reggie Miller was and always will be the fact that he was clutch.

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  • MILLA on May 20, 2005 at 4:50 PM
  • Yousef Jalili (View Email) on July 13, 2005 at 12:29 AM
    i liked ur story i know it is a little late for me 2 type this but who cares. I have been a pacers fan since i was a little kid. And i will be for da rest of my life. My favorite basketball player has been reggie miller since i was 5 years old. i absolutely love him. when he retired i started crying lol. But that is how much i admired him. He has been da best role model for me since i dont have dat many other people 2 look up 2. So, if there is a chance dat u could get in touch with reggie miller. Tel him dat even though he retired he will still continue to be my favorite player. And tell him thank u. Thank u for helping me to so many happy moments. LIke when u made the finals. And when u hit that shot against the philadelphia 76ers. And when u scred 57 against the charlotte hornets. Well if i named all of the happy moments that i have had thanks to u, there wouldnt be enough room. So all i have to say is thank u reggie miller. U will continue to be my favorit player. and mr. Pratik Bhandari thank u for noticing the influence that reggie miller has had on the whole world. if u can please email me back
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