Tag Archives: NBA centers

David Robinson (pre-NBA)

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David Maurice Robinson was born on the 6th of August 1965, in Key West, Florida. David Robinson was the second child of Ambrose and Freda Robinson. His father was a sonar technician at the U.S. Navy and this played a big part in his decision to join the Naval Academy later in his life. Robinson was one bright kid, he was really strong in mathematics and learned to play piano by ear. Robinson was an excellent student and a great athlete during his high school years, but the first time that he actually played competitive basketball was during his senior year at Osbourn Park High School, Virginia, were his family had relocated after his father’s retirement.

David Robinson was 5’9 inches tall as a junior at high school and 6’7 as a senior, when the basketball coach at his school noticed him and included him to the team without testing him. Robinson’s performances on the basketball court earned him all-area and all-district honours, but he was not able to earn the attention of college basketball coaches. Young David didn’t  seem to care that much about a basketball career back then. He scored 1320 on his SATs and decided to follow his father’s example and join the US Naval Academy.

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In his first year at the Naval Academy David was 6’8 inches tall, this put him two inches above Navy’s height limit, but the Superintendent of the Academy made an exception for him. However, his height continued to be a problem and put his Navy career in jeopardy, until Secretary of the Navy John Lehman placed Robinson in a program for training civil engineers for the Naval Reserves, reducing his active-duty obligation from five to two years.

Robinson excelled, again, as a student, especially in maths and he was also known for his athleticism and his ability to play chess. His college basketball career started slowly; he averaged 7.6ppg., 4.0rpg. and 1.3bpg in his junior year at college. Before his sophomore year, David Robinson grew to 7’1 inches tall and his basketball stats exploded to 23.6ppg., 11.6rpg. and 4.0bpg. This was the beginning of a special career in college basketball. Robinson averaged 22.7ppg., 13.0rpg., and 5.9bpg. during the next year (1986) and 28.2ppg., 11.8rpg. and 4.5bpg in his last year (1987) at college, when he was selected as the College Player of the Year.

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Robinson has also received the All-America recognition in his final two seasons, as well as the Naismith and Wooden Awards, two of college basketball’s highest honours. In addition, in his final collegiate game, in an NCAA Tournament loss to Michigan, he scored 50 points, just like the number of his jersey, which he picked because of his favourite player Ralph Sampson. By the time David Robinson left the Naval Academy he was considered as the best basketball player in the academy’s history. He also holds the record of most blocks in a single season in college basketball with 207. The legend has it that David Robinson was in Washington DC having breakfast with the US Vice President in the day the 1987 NBA Draft took place.

It was that NBA draft in the spring of 1987 that David Robinson was selected as the number 1 pick by the San Antonio Spurs. However, Robinson had to serve his active-duty obligation to the US Navy for two years. So, after graduating from the Naval Academy, Robinson became a civil engineering officer at the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. Robinson’s obligations to the Navy were seen as a serious issue by many, but not by the Spurs officials who were prepared to wait, and they were right to do so, I would add. In May 17, 1987, after the Spurs won the NBA Draft Lottery, CBS’s sportscaster James Brown and Spurs’ GM Bob Bass, had the following dialogue:

– James Brown: Bob, congratulations 1st of all. Clearly, David Robinson is the top pick in the draft this year, but he comes with some complications, that two year military hitch. Will you still go after him?

– General Manager Bob Bass: We waited 14 years…what’s two more, you know? What’s two more?

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However, Robinson’s situation was unique and there were speculations that if  the Spurs hadn’t offered enough money to sign Robinson before next year’s draft (1988), he would be eligible for next year’s draft. And if Robinson did not sign with the team that drafted him next year, he would become a free agent on the day of the 1989 draft. But, on the 6th of November 1987 David Robinson signed with the San Antonio Spurs a contract that was going to pay him as much as the average of the salaries of the two highest-paid players in the league each year. This way Robinson put an end to speculation and became one of the highest paid players in the NBA from his first season.

David Robinson has also played in two major international basketball tournaments as a member of the US national team before joining the Spurs in 1989-90 season. He played in 1986 World Basketball Championship, where he won the gold medal and was selected as a member of the all-tournament team.  He was also a key member of the 1988 US Olympic team, which won the bronze medal after losing to the USSR in the semi-finals. In addition, he was a member of the US national team that played in the pan-American games in 1987, at Indianapolis and won the silver medal after a surprising loss to Brazil in the final.

During the 1986 and 1988 Robinson’s international appearances, a rivalry was born between him and another great big-man of that era that was just unlucky and never reached the level he was meant to; the name of that big man was Arvydas Sabonis. The Lithuanian giant that played for USSR’s national team was considered a miracle of nature and there is, even now a mythology that he actually dominated David Robinson in their epic battles. However, a quick look at the stats of their two showdowns shows an entirely different story:

1986: Robinson 20p. 7r. 4b. – Sabonis 16p. 13r. 4b.

1988: Robinson 23p. 12r. 2b. – Sabonis 13p. 13r. 1.b

David Robinson had a great college basketball career and is considered as one of the best college basketball players ever. Among his achievements are a game of 14 blocks in January 1986, recording 2669 points and 1314 rebounds in total in 127 games as a college player for Navy, leading the NCAA in blocks per game two years in a row (1985-86, 1986-87) as well as lead the league in rebounds per game in 1985-86. Finally, I think by now it is obvious why his nickname is ‘the Admiral’, however, his real Navy rank upon fulfilling his service commitment was Lieutenant, Junior Grade.

Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
College Career 21.0 10.3 0.7 1.2 4.1
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Filed under Top 10 Centers, Top players of the 90s

Battle in the Paint I

battle in the middle

This is the first part of the article about the battle that took place in the paint of the NBA courts during the 90s. A very controversial battle, at least, until the 1995 play-offs. The 90s was a decade with many great players, but as we have said in other articles of this blog, many of them were playing the Center position and were the franchise players of their teams. I have always wanted to summarize the battles of the top-5 Centers of the 90s in an article and be able to see, statistically, whom was the best. I believe that when somebody read statistics, must be aware of more than the statistics. I am pointing this out because for example O’Neal and Mourning were rookies in 1993 and at the second half of the 1990s Robinson, Olajuwon and Ewing were over 30. So, their battles may not say the exact true, because except from their age other external factors like the quality of the supporting cast and coaching should be considered. Anyway, this first article summarizes the battle of these five Centers against each other, during their regular season meetings, and the second that will come later, will analyse their battles in the play-offs, the honours of the players (e.g. all-star, MVP) and the overall presence of their teams.

hakeem-olajuwonHakeem Olajuwon VS David Robinson (34 games)spurs13_resize

Olajuwon Stats Robinson
39.4 Minutes 39.7
9.7 Field Goals 7.5
21.8 F.G. Attempts 15.8
44.6% F.G.% 47.6%
0.0 3Points 0.1
0.2 3P. Attempts 0.1
16.7% 3P.% 75.0%
4.6 Free Throws 6.0
5.9 F.T. Attempts 8.4
77.5% F.T.% 71.1%
3.3 Off. Rebounds 3.8
8.6 Def. Rebounds 8.1
11.9 Total Rebounds 11.9
3.2 Assists 3.4
1.9 Steals 2.1
3.6 Blocks 3.4
3.1 Turnovers 3.4
4.2 Fouls 3.6
24.1 Points 21.1

hakeem-olajuwonHakeem Olajuwon VS Patrick Ewing (15 games)s_patrick_vt

Olajuwon Stats Ewing
36.7 Minutes 38.1
10.1 Field Goals 7.9
19.7 F.G. Attempts 17.9
51.2% F.G.% 44.0%
0.0 3Points 0.0
0.0 3P. Attempts 0.0
0.0% 3P.% 0.0%
4.7 Free Throws 5.2
6.3 F.T. Attempts 6.3
75.5% F.T.% 82.1%
3.2 Off. Rebounds 2.0
8.5 Def. Rebounds 8.8
11.7 Total Rebounds 10.8
2.9 Assists 1.9
2.1 Steals 1.0
2.9 Blocks 2.3
3.5 Turnovers 3.3
4.1 Fouls 3.1
24.9 Points 20.9

hakeem-olajuwonHakeem Olajuwon VS Shaquille O’ Neal (14 games)CNBC_Sports_defectors_shaq

Olajuwon Stats O’ Neal
37.8 Minutes 40.1
8.6 Field Goals 9.7
19.1 F.G. Attempts 16.9
45.3% F.G.% 57.4%
0.1 3Points 0.0
0.1 3P. Attempts 0.0
100.0% 3P.% 0.0%
3.9 Free Throws 3.6
5.3 F.T. Attempts 6.9
74.3% F.T.% 51.5%
2.9 Off. Rebounds 4.2
6.9 Def. Rebounds 9.0
9.8 Total Rebounds 13.2
3.7 Assists 3.4
1.6 Steals 1.1
2.9 Blocks 1.4
2.5 Turnovers 3.9
3.9 Fouls 3.6
21.3 Points 23.0

hakeem-olajuwonHakeem Olajuwon VS Alonzo Mourning (12 games)Alonzo_Mourning_hornets

Olajuwon Stats Mourning
37.1 Minutes 35.0
8.0 Field Goals 4.8
16.5 F.G. Attempts 10.2
48.6% F.G.% 47.3%
0.1 3Points 0.0
0.2 3P. Attempts 0.1
50.0% 3P.% 0.0%
3.9 Free Throws 4.1
6.2 F.T. Attempts 5.5
63.2% F.T.% 73.8%
2.1 Off. Rebounds 2.5
8.3 Def. Rebounds 6.9
10.4 Total Rebounds 9.4
3.5 Assists 1.6
1.8 Steals 0.9
2.7 Blocks 1.4
2.1 Turnovers 4.0
3.8 Fouls 3.8
20.0 Points 13.7

spurs13_resizeDavid Robinson VS Patrick Ewing (14 games)s_patrick_vt

Robinson Stats Ewing
38.7 Minutes 38.1
9.4 Field Goals 9.7
18.1 F.G. Attempts 22.4
51.8% F.G.% 43.5%
0.0 3Points 0.0
0.1 3P. Attempts 0.1
0.0% 3P.% 0.0%
6.9 Free Throws 3.2
10.5 F.T. Attempts 4.7
65.3% F.T.% 68.2%
3.4 Off. Rebounds 2.4
6.8 Def. Rebounds 8.9
10.2 Total Rebounds 11.3
3.0 Assists 2.7
1.8 Steals 1.1
3.2 Blocks 3.0
3.6 Turnovers 3.6
3.7 Fouls 4.1
25.6 Points 22.6

spurs13_resizeDavid Robinson VS Shaquille O’Neal (12 games)CNBC_Sports_defectors_shaq

Robinson Stats O’Neal
38.5 Minutes 38.8
8.6 Field Goals 10.3
18.3 F.G. Attempts 19.1
47.0% F.G.% 53.7%
0.0 3Points 0.0
0.3 3P. Attempts 0.0
0.0% 3P.% 0.0%
7.3 Free Throws 5.7
9.5 F.T. Attempts 9.8
77.2% F.T.% 57.6%
3.2 Off. Rebounds 3.4
7.3 Def. Rebounds 9.0
10.5 Total Rebounds 12.4
3.8 Assists 1.8
2.3 Steals 0.8
2.3 Blocks 2.1
2.4 Turnovers 3.8
3.5 Fouls 3.9
24.5 Points 26.2

spurs13_resizeDavid Robinson VS Alonzo Mourning (10 games)Alonzo_Mourning_hornets

Robinson Stats Mourning
35.4 Minutes 35.1
10.5 Field Goals 7.2
19.0 F.G. Attempts 14.2
55.3% F.G.% 50.7%
0.1 3Points 0.1
0.2 3P. Attempts 0.4
50.0% 3P.% 25.0%
8.2 Free Throws 6.2
10.5 F.T. Attempts 9.0
78.1% F.T.% 68.9%
3.0 Off. Rebounds 2.4
7.3 Def. Rebounds 6.0
10.3 Total Rebounds 8.4
2.5 Assists 1.6
1.5 Steals 0.8
2.0 Blocks 3.0
2.4 Turnovers 2.7
2.4 Fouls 3.6
29.3 Points 20.7

s_patrick_vtPatrick Ewing VS Shaquille O’Neal (19 games)CNBC_Sports_defectors_shaq

Ewing Stats O’Neal
39.3 Minutes 39.3
10.9 Field Goals 11.2
24.2 F.G. Attempts 22.7
45.1% F.G.% 54.1%
0.1 3Points 0.0
0.4 3P. Attempts 0.0
25.0% 3P.% 0.0%
4.4 Free Throws 5.2
5.4 F.T. Attempts 10.5
80.6% F.T.% 49.5%
2.5 Off. Rebounds 4.3
9.1 Def. Rebounds 8.0
11.6 Total Rebounds 12.3
2.0 Assists 2.3
1.0 Steals 0.7
2.3 Blocks 3.1
3.3 Turnovers 2.8
4.2 Fouls 4.5
26.3 Points 27.6

s_patrick_vtPatrick Ewing VS Alonzo Mourning (17 games)Alonzo_Mourning_hornets

Ewing Stats Mourning
38.2 Minutes 38.7
10.6 Field Goals 6.9
21.7 F.G. Attempts 15.8
48.8% F.G.% 44.0%
0.1 3Points 0.1
0.1 3P. Attempts 0.4
50.0% 3P.% 16.7%
5.0 Free Throws 7.4
6.5 F.T. Attempts 9.8
76.6% F.T.% 75.4%
3.1 Off. Rebounds 3.4
8.2 Def. Rebounds 7.4
11.3 Total Rebounds 10.8
2.0 Assists 1.2
0.6 Steals 0.6
2.5 Blocks 3.2
2.6 Turnovers 3.5
3.9 Fouls 4.4
26.2 Points 21.4

CNBC_Sports_defectors_shaqShaquille O’Neal VS Alonzo Mourning (12 games)Alonzo_Mourning_hornets

O’Neal Stats Mourning
39.5 Minutes 32.6
12.8 Field Goals 6.9
22.3 F.G. Attempts 15.7
57.5% F.G.% 44.1%
0.0 3Points 0.1
0.2 3P. Attempts 0.3
0.0% 3P.% 25.0%
6.4 Free Throws 7.9
12.9 F.T. Attempts 10.9
49.7% F.T.% 72.5%
5.7 Off. Rebounds 3.2
7.7 Def. Rebounds 6.2
13.3 Total Rebounds 9.4
3.0 Assists 1.2
0.6 Steals 0.7
3.2 Blocks 2.4
2.7 Turnovers 2.9
4.3 Fouls 4.2
32.1 Points 21.8

Each one of them against the others (e.g. Olajuwon vs the rest etc.)

Stats Olajuwon (74 games) Robinson (70 games) Ewing
(65 games)
O’Neal
(57 games)
Mourning (50 games)
Min. 38.2 38.7 38.5 39.5 35.7
F.G. 9.3 8.5 9.9 11.0 6.5
F.G.A. 20.1 17.1 21.7 19.8 14.2
F.G.% 46.5% 49.6% 45.5% 55.5% 45.9%
3P. 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.1
3P.A. 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.3
3P.% 33.3% 33.3% 27.3% 0.0% 20.0%
F.T. 4.4 6.7 4.5 5.2 6.6
F.T.A. 5.9 9.3 5.8 10.0 9.0
F.T.% 74.3% 72.0% 77.6% 51.6% 73.1%
O.R. 3.0 3.5 2.5 4.4 2.9
D.R. 8.2 7.6 8.8 8.4 6.7
T.R. 11.2 11.1 11.3 12.8 9.8
Assists 3.3 3.2 2.1 2.6 1.4
Steals 1.9 2.0 0.9 0.8 0.7
Blocks 3.2 3.0 2.5 2.5 2.6
Turn. 2.9 3.2 3.2 3.3 3.3
Fouls 4.0 3.4 3.8 4.1 4.1
Points 23.1 23.8 24.2 27.1 19.7

The statistical presentation of the battles between the top-5 centers of the 90s does not give a clear answer on who was the best of them. O’Neal outscored all of them during the 90s but he created this small difference in scoring per game(except from Mourning) between him and the rest of them in the last three years of the 90s where Olajuwon, Ewing and Robinson had undergone major injuries and where at the twilight of their careers. They were in front of him during the first half of the 90s when O’Neal was a rookie with a little experience. On the other hand all of them were great players since their first year in the league which means that the rookie excuse is not good enough. The tables only show us that Alonzo Mourning was a great center but was defeated in almost every battle against the top-4 centers of his era. I leave the rest of the conclusions to you and I hope that the second part of this article will make it clearer if my ranking is right.

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Filed under Opinions - Comparisons - What If

10. Indiana Pacers

IndianaPacers

Win (%) Play-offs 2nd Round Conference Finals NBA Finals Titles
56.47 9 4 4 0 0

Indiana Pacers were undoubtly one of the best teams of the 90s. They were not a great regular season team, as you can see their winning percentage is not that good, but they were real fighters when they had to, at the play-offs. A really hard team with  a fanatical home crowd. They were made 9 play-offs appearances and they played four times in the Eastern Conference Finals and lost all four of them.

The definite superstar of the Pacers throughout the 90s was Reggie Miller and all the 90s Pacers’ teams were built around him. He was drafted at 1987 and since then the Pacers team never looked back, they created a contender team with Miller as they cornerstone and they finally made the NBA Finals even at the beginning of the next decade (1999-00 season).

1989-1992

During the first three years of the 90s, the Pacers were not a recognizable force in the league, their winning percentage was around 50% and they qualified for the play-offs, as 7th seeded team in East, in each one of those seasons. They didn’t do well in the play-offs either as they were eliminated by the Pistons (3-0) and by the Celtics two times in a row (3-2, and 3-0) respectively. Pacers were a very young team back then with Reggie Miller, Rik Smits and Detlef Schrempf been playing in the league for less than 5 years each one of them. The Pacers experienced star was Chuck Person that averaged 18.8 points in those three seasons, he was not a bad player but he was not a player that a team could base its hopes for success as he was a bit colourful (not in a bad way) and inconsistent. From the way they played against the Celtics in 1991 play-offs you could understand that something good was starting in Indiana.

The New York Rivalry and the Best Pacers Team (1993-1999) 

The next three years of the 90s were not the same for the Pacers, they made some changes (Chuck Person was traded to Minnesota) and their young stars were getting mature enough to pursue higher goals. In those three years the Pacers played two consecutive times at the the Eastern Conference Finals (1994, 1995) and lost both of them. But there is only one thing that can characterize this era for the Pacers, the battles against the New York Knicks. Their battles and the spectacular performances of Pacers’ star, Reggie Miller characterized the whole NBA play-offs at 1994 and 1995.

1992-93 was the last season of Pacers’ head coach Bob Hill and they made they performed the usual way during the regular season (41-41) and they made it to the play-offs where as number 8 seed had to play against a powerful Knicks team that had the best record in the Eastern Conference. Pat Riley as the head coach of the Knicks at that time had created a tough team that was looking to face and beat the Chicago Bulls. Pacers’ were not ready to face the Knicks and were defeated 3-1.

1993-94 was the first season with Larry Brown as a head coach of the Pacers and Detlef Schrempf (that was an all-star and NBA’s sixth man last year) was traded to Seattle for Derrick McKey. This created scepticism amongst the Pacers fans and criticism on Pacers’ GM (Donnie Walsh) moves. However, Brown and the Pacers had their standard regular season (45-37) and qualified as number 5 seed for the play-offs. In the first round they swept the young Magic team (3-0) and in the second round the ambitious, first in the East, Hawks team (4-2). In both of the rounds their opponents had the home-court advantage. Their success in the first two rounds brought them, for the first time in the 90s, to the Eastern Conference Finals where the team that eliminated them last season, was waiting. The New York Knicks were not afraid of the Pacers (they had no reason to be) in fact they were arrogant and did not see the Pacers coming. One of the greatest play-offs series that I had the opportunity to watch took place and found the Knicks winners at the end (4-3) but the Pacers had also won the respect of their opponents and every NBA fan around the world. A remarkable moment was the performance of Reggie Miller during the fourth quarter of the 5th game, where he scored 25 points in the fourth quarter and won the game for the Pacers in Madison Square Garden that gave them the lead 3-2 in the series. Knicks were able to bounce back after that and win the next game in Market Square Arena (Indianapolis) and the last game in New York.

1994-95 was a different season for the Pacers, the fans had expectations, themselves had expectations after last year’s great play-offs run. Larry Brown had done a great debut at Pacers’ bench and was preparing the team for greater things. The arrival of Mark Jackson made the Pacers even stronger, a good point guard that would be able to find Reggie Miller off the screens was the missing piece of the Pacers’ puzzle. 1994-95 was the first 50-win (52-30) season since the Pacers joined the NBA. This was a sign for what is going to follow. They qualified as 2nd seeded team for the play-offs and swept the Hawks (3-0) at the first round in a furious way that it seemed like they were anxious to face their rivals at the next round. I believe that Pacers would be really disappointed if Knicks didn’t qualify for the 2nd round and didn’t give them the opportunity for a revenge. This time was the eastern conference semi-finals but it seemed like it was the NBA finals, a great series again. This time though the Pacers did it, they won 4-3 (Knicks had home-court advantage) and the two teams showed from the first game (pt1, pt2, pt3, pt4, pt5, pt6, pt7, pt8, pt9) at Madison Square Garden that this was going to be a great battle, as nobody that has seen that game will never forget Miller scoring 8 points in the last 16.4 seconds of the game to erase a 6-point Knicks’ lead and steal the win for the Pacers. The Pacers were not able to utilize this great success and were defeated (4-3) in Eastern Conference Finals by the young and filled with talent Orland Magic team (Hardaway, O’ Neal), after a really tough series.

The next two years 96 and 97 were not that good for the Pacers, they had many injury-problems, they qualified for the play-offs in 1996 but eliminated in the first round by the Hawks (3-2) and stayed out of the play-offs (the only time during the 90s) in 1997.

1997-98 was the start of a new era for the Pacers with Larry Bird as their head coach and it was their best season during the 90s. This team was the best team that Pacers had during the 90s and it was almost the same team that reached the NBA Finals in 1999-00 season. Larry Bird took a good team and made it great, it is a shame that he coached only for three seasons. He brought the veteran Chris Mullin and found a way to put Jalen Rose in the mix. Pacers recorder 58-24 (their best record in the 90s) and qualified third for the eastern conference play-offs. They eliminated the Cavaliers 3-1 in the first round and in the second round met again with their fierce rivals New York Knicks. But this time the Pacers were by far the best team of the series and eliminated the Knicks easily (4-1). It was clear that Pacers were ready to play against the Champs (Bulls) but nobody expected them to be such a difficult challenge for the great but aging Chicago Bulls. I will use a phrase that the presenter of the Chicago Bulls Dynasty documentary used “Pacers’ team has been built to defeat the Chicago Bulls”. It was like that, they were tough, experienced, talented and had the most difficult home-court with fanatical support from their crowd. Indiana was always a basketball state (except from a racing state) and the fans were and are crazy for their professional basketball team as any other basketball team within their state. That Eastern Conference Finals series was just great the Bulls were so good but the Pacers were coming back at them all the time.

Game Result Series (CHI-IND)
1 Indiana at Chicago 79-85 (1-0)
2 Indiana at Chicago 98-104 (2-0)
3 Chicago at Indiana 105-107 (2-1)
4 Chicago at Indiana 94-96 (2-2)
5 Indiana at Chicago 87-106 (3-2)
6 Chicago at Indiana 89-92 (3-3)
7 Indiana at Chicago 83-88 (4-3)

One more time Reggie Miller’s heroics kept the Pacers alive as he scored 13 points in the last 4 minutes of the 3rd game of the series and scored the decisive three-pointer at 96-94 win in game 4. But even this well-organized and hungry for success team was not able to beat the Chicago Bulls and the Pacers did not reach the NBA Finals once more.

The last shot for the 90’s Pacers to reach the NBA Finals was the 1998-99 short season (50-game season because of the lock-out). They qualified for the play-offs with the second best record in the East (33-17 tied with Miami Heat). They marched to the Eastern Conference Finals after they swept both the Bucks (3-0) and the 76ers (4-0) to meet their rivals once again. They were the hot favourites against a renewed New York team (Allan Houston, Larry Johnson, Latrell Sprewell, Marcus Camby) that qualified last for the paly-offs but had upset Miami (3-2) and Atlanta (4-0). Pacers had the home-court advantage, they seemed unbeatable as they have destroyed their opponents in the first two rounds and nobody believed that the Knicks could surprise the Pacers and eliminate them (except from myself that I had foreseen, before the play-offs, that that Knicks’ team was good enough to reach the NBA Finals and I have witnesses on this one). Pacers lost the first game (at home) but won the second where Patrick Ewing got injured and did not play for the rest of the play-offs. This was their best shot, Ewing-less Knicks should have been an easy target for that Pacers team, but they didn’t except that the aged Ewing was actually slowing down the young Knicks team and they found out in the worst way as they were able to win only one more game of the remaining and finally be eliminated 4-2 by a great team effort from the Knicks in both sides of the court that defensively was able to contain Reggie Miller and provide multiple scoring options offensively and this how the story of the 90s Pacers ends.

Indiana Pacers was a really good team of the 90s but their inability to reach the NBA Finals and compete for the title brought them in the 10th position of the top ten ranking for the best teams of the 90s.

All-90s Pacers Team*  

Name Position Seasons Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
Mark Jackson p.g. 4.5 8.5 3.8 8.2 1.2 0.1
Reggie Miller s.g 10 21.0 3.1 3.2 1.2 0.2
Detlef Schrempf s.f. 5 16.7 8.1 4.0 0.8 0.3
Dale Davis p.f. 8 9.3 8.8 0.8 0.7 1.4
Rik Smits c. 10 15.4 6.2 1.2 0.4 1.2
Vern Fleming p.g. 6 9.2 2.7 4.2 0.8 0.1
Jalen Rose s.g. 3 9.4 2.1 2.0 0.8 0.2
Chuck Person s.f. 3 18.8 5.4 3.6 0.7 0.2
LaSalle Thompson p.f. 6 5.3 5.1 1.1 0.6 0.6
Antonio Davis c. 6 9.0 6.6 0.7 0.5 0.9
Derrick McKey s.f. 6 10.5 4.7 3.1 1.2 0.6
Travis Best p.g. 5 7.4 1.6 3.3 0.9 0.1

 http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/IND/

* The rules for the selection of the all-90s teams can be found at the about page.

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Filed under Top Teams of the 90s