Indiana Pacers: 15 Greatest Reggie Miller Moments

Ryan ReedCorrespondent IISeptember 20, 2012

Indiana Pacers: 15 Greatest Reggie Miller Moments

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    So, the great showman Reggie Miller made it to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

    Debate all you want about whether he measures up statistically for the Hall of Fame, but I'm already sold.

    I'm sold not by the stats that he put up, but by all of the great moments that he had while wearing an Indiana Pacers uniform.

    Because of that, this article will pay homage to Reggie Miller by listing the top moments of his illustrious  NBA career.

15. His Fight with Michael Jordan

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    A big part of Reggie's game was getting into people's heads, something he himself has acknowledged

    Still, it speaks volumes about Miller that he was able to get into the head of the arguably the greatest basketball player of all time.

    This moment isn't a testament to how good Miller was as a player, so much as how well he played the game mentally. He wasn't intimidated by Jordan and was willing to give him all he had every game.

    Also, most former players say that trash talkers are only good at what they do. However, the fact that he can get under the skin of Jordan has to say something about his skill as a player.

    It is also vintage Reggie and deserves a spot on his greatest moments.

14. Gold Medal in the 1996 Olympic Games

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    For the entirety of the London 2012 Olympics, fans contemplated a hypothetical game between the squad from this year and the 1992 Olympic team.

    What has been forgotten in that debate is an extremely good team that the United States fielded in 1996, and one that Reggie Miller starred for.

    For the 1996 Games, Miller was the second-leading scorer on the team and averaged 11.4 points per game. He was surrounded by the likes of Hakeem Olajuwan, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal.

    This has to be on the list because it was a very important achievement. It also proves just how good Miller was that he was able to be a big part of such a great team.

13. The John Starks Headbutt

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    The playoff battles between the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers were always memorable, but John Starks headbutting Reggie Miller in the third game of their 1993 series has to be one of the best moments.

    Starks was a solid player for the Knicks, but let Reggie get to him in that game. Instead of going for a conventional punch or elbow, John opted for the headbutt and will always be remembered for it.

    Of course, when Miller was hit, he decided he would "milk it and act like I (he) got hit by a tank," something he himself said during the ESPN 30 for 30 movie Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks

    This play is mostly memorable because of its comedic value, not because of how hard Reggie was hit or anything. Still, they did win the game, and Miller had 36 points.

12. 35 Points in Game 4 of the NBA Finals

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    Reggie Miller only made it to the NBA Finals once, a product of weak teams and coinciding with Michael Jordan and the Bulls.

    He was largely a no-show in the first game and waited until Game 3 when he scored 33 points in a Pacers win.

    His best statistical night, however, was in Game 4. Reggie dropped 35 points and grabbed five rebounds. The Pacers ultimately lost by two points, but Miller once again proved that he can play well in the big game.

    This moment is important to the career of Reggie Miller because it was his only Finals appearance and was a good scoring display from the shooting guard.

11. 39 Points at the Age of 39

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    Leave it to Reggie to do something flashy like score the same amount of points as his age, something even more impressive because he was 39 at the time.

    In his last year, Reggie was obviously slowing down and had already seemingly turned the reigns over to a younger team.

    Still, Miller was able to score more points than he had in four years and show the NBA that he still had it. The feat was all the more impressive because it came against Kobe Bryant.

    It is unlikely that we will see another player at his age score that many points for some time.

10. 57 Points Versus the Hornets

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    On November 28, 1992 Miller dropped 57 points against the Charlotte Hornets, the highest total of his career.

    This scoring outburst helps solidify Reggie's legacy as a scorer, since most of the top players have at least one great game to their name.

    To top it off, Reggie only took 29 shots to get to 57 points. He was also 21-23 from the charity stripe and managed to add eight assists and five boards to his total.

    Obviously, Miller's highest scoring game had to be on the list of his top moments. It is just amazing that he was able to score so efficiently while also handing out eight assists.

9. 38 Points and the Game-Tying Three Against the Knicks in 1998

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    In Game 4 of the 1998 Pacers vs. Knicks series, Reggie Miller put up another outstanding game.

    He scored 38 points, hit 13-of-14 free throws and ultimately sent the game into overtime with a three-pointer.

    While this game wasn't at the end of the series, it was still very important. The Knicks were at home and had just won their first game of the series.

    They were close to winning their second straight game and tying the series, but Reggie saved the day. He hit a three with only a few seconds left to send the game into overtime, where the Pacers outscored the Knicks by 11.

    Indiana ended up winning the following game and the series, all thanks to Miller's game-tying three.

8. Game Winner in the 2001 Playoffs Against the 76ers

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    In Game 1 of the first round of the 2001 playoffs, Reggie Miller put his heroics on display again by nailing a three-pointer to win the game with just under three seconds left.

    It was just the first game of the series, but it was still a great play for Miller. He was going up against the No. 1 team in the East at their home court and still managed to hit a game-winning shot as time expired.

    It also ended up being the only game that the Pacers could win against the Sixers.

    This shot was just another big moment that solidifies Reggie Miller's place as one of the most clutch players in NBA history.

7. 41 Points in Game 5 of the 2000 Playoffs Against the Bucks

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    This playoff series featured Reggie Miller against the player who eventually surpassed his all-time three-pointers made record, Ray Allen.

    The two teams split the first four games and went to a deciding fifth game.

    In that game, Reggie went off for 41 points on 60 percent shooting. He also scored 18 points in the fourth quarter, sealing a game that ultimately came down to one point.

    This was one of Miller's best performances and an exciting one because of the matchup with Ray Allen.

6. 40-Foot Game-Tying Three Against the New Jersey Nets

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    In the elimination game of the 2002 series between the Pacers and the New Jersey Nets, Reggie hit perhaps his most spectacular shot.

    Down by three and with time expiring, Miller launched a 40-foot bomb and banked it in.

    While they end up losing in double overtime, Reggie Miller still almost managed to bury the eventual Eastern Conference champions with one amazing play.

    It's worth noting that Miller also had a game-tying dunk at the end of the first overtime period. Both plays were outstanding and add to the long list of great things he has managed at the end of games.

5. 34 Points, with 17 in the Fourth, to Send the Pacers to the Finals in 2000

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    Another great moment for the Pacers superstar at Madison Square Garden.

    This time, Reggie scored 34 points, including an impressive 71.4 percent from beyond the arc and going 9-of-9 from the free-throw line.

    More importantly, Miller scored 17 points in the fourth quarter and effectively iced the game.

    Going into the fourth, the game was tied. With the help of Reggie, the Pacers were able to win the game by 13.

    Although he only scored 34, this game ranks among Reggie Miller's best because his superb fourth-quarter performance propelled the Pacers into the NBA Finals for the first time.

4. Reggie Miller Hits the Game Winner on Michael Jordan

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    Okay, maybe he pushed Michael and maybe he didn't (he did). The point still stands that this was one of the best moments in Reggie's career.

    This last second shot is amazing for a few reasons.

    First, it happens on Michael Jordan and the Bulls. Most people would expect to be watching Jordan do this to some team, not another player doing it to him. That shows just how fearless Miller was.

    Secondly, it tied the series at two games a piece. If Reggie had missed this shot and the Pacers had gone down 3-1, there is no way that they could have forced the Game 7 that they almost won.

    This game winner is definitely Miller's second-most famous shot, behind one that we will get to shortly. As such, it deserves to be ranked at least this high.

3. The Spike Lee Incident and the 25 Point Quarter

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    Let me set the stage for you. It was 1994, and the Pacers were in Madison Square Garden. To this point, Indiana and New York were tied in the series. The Pacers were losing Game 3 by 12 in the fourth quarter and all hope looked lost.

    That was until Reggie Miller decided that it was his time to shine. At that point, he began a personal battle with director Spike Lee, which was probably something that Miller began just to get an edge.

    All of this has been captured in Miller's 30 for 30 documentary, making the incident even more famous.

    In the end, this was what Reggie was all about. It had a dramatic flair, was against the New York Knicks and most importantly, featured some extremely good clutch shooting.

    Scoring 25 points in the fourth quarter of a playoff game may be one of the most impressive playoff performances that the NBA has seen so far.

2. Eight Points in Nine Seconds

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    Just about every NBA fan knows exactly what this slide is about just from the words eight points, nine seconds. 

    Of course, it is in reference to Game 1 of the 1995 playoff series between the Pacers and Knicks, one in which Reggie won the game by scoring eight points within nine seconds at the end of the game. 

    How did it happen you ask? Let me explain.

    First, Reggie hits a three-pointer with 16.4 seconds left. He then steals the inbound pass, after a questionable push to a Knicks player and steps behind the three-point line for another three.

    At that point, John Starks is fouled for some reason, but manages to miss both free throws. Patrick Ewing gets the rebound, but bricks his next shot and Reggie gets the rebound.

    Then, for some unknown reason, the Knicks foul Miller and send him to the line. He calmly steps up and knocks down both to win the game.

    That series of plays has to be the most amazing end to a game possible. So many things had to go right, and Reggie had to play so well to make it happen. I still am shocked after watching it 100  times.

1. Reggie Enters the Hall of Fame

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    Okay, this sounds a little bit cheesy but hear me out.

    Reggie Miller making it to the Basketball Hall of Fame has to be the greatest moment of his career simply because it is the summation of the entire thing.

    He is being recognized for his outstanding play on the court, which includes all of the previous moments on this list.

    Reggie is a deserving member of the Hall of Fame and would likely list this as his No. 1 achievement if asked.

    Also, we all know Reggie is one of the best showman the NBA has seen, and what could please him more than an entire night about himself?