Reggie Miller claimed to have ‘lightly shoved’ Michael Jordan when trying to get open for a shot in the waning seconds of Game 4 of the ECF in 1998.
When talking about some of the toughest teams Michael Jordan had to face in the Playoffs over the years, squads like the ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons and the Patrick Ewing led New York Knicks are always front and center. The Indiana Pacers however, were every bit as formidable as these aforementioned teams and they proved it by taking the Chicago Bulls to 7 games in the 1998 ECF.
After getting off to a 2-0 start in the series, the Chicago Bulls seemed to have taken their foot off the gas in the following games as the Pacers would catch up and take the next two games, tying it up at 2 a piece. The series was left to a best-of-3 and it ended with Michael Jordan and the Bulls prevailing, reaching their 6th NBA Finals in 8 seasons.
The Bulls winning it all that season shouldn’t take away from the fact that Reggie Miller hit one of the most clutch shots in Playoffs history against the Bulls, and he did so with Jordan on him.
Reggie Miller says that he did ‘lightly shove’ Michael Jordan on the game-winning play.
With 2.4 seconds left on the clock, the Indiana Pacers knew they had to get the ball to Reggie Miller and no one else to help erase the 1-point deficit. Larry Bird did so quite efficiently as in less than two seconds, the Pacers went from being down 1 to up 2.
On the play, it’s clear that Miller pushed off on Michael Jordan to get open for the ball on the perimeter. There was no offensive foul called on Reggie, and rightfully so as it would’ve taken away from one of the greatest Playoff moments in league history.
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Decades later and Reggie Miller admits that he ‘lightly shoved’ Michael Jordan on the play. Though the Bulls did win this series, it should be noted that six out of the seven games were decided by 6 points or less, with the anomaly having taken place in Game 5 as the Bulls blew Indiana out by 18 points.