Thursday, May 19, 2005Reggie's Finale?
The Pacers believed they had a step up on laying claim to this season's NBA championship while blowing out the Pistons in Detroit until Ben Wallace sent his headband flying, a cup followed and . . . well, the rest is history.
It's remarkable the Pacers still are standing after all the blows they have taken.Their planned starting five for the season never played a game together with Miller's early season injury and then the suspensions to Artest, Stephen Jackson and O'Neal. They had 32 different starting lineups and 435 games lost to injury or suspension.
But they made the playoffs--as the sixth seed--went to Boston and blew out the Celtics at home in Game 7 of the first round before taking two of three from the Pistons.
We have seen this series before--in 1989. Michael Jordan hit the famous game-winner against Cleveland and the sixth-seeded Bulls were on an unlikely roll, winning in the second round and then taking two of three from heavy favorite Detroit. The Pistons woke up in Game 4 and ran the Bulls out in six games.
That's what this Pistons-Pacers series now looks like.
The Pacers must hold the current record for "most times a team has been written off during a single postseason."
I'll wait to say my goodbyes.
A Hand for Pacers, Miller [Chicago Tribune]