The Pacers’ 2000 NBA Finals Squad Was One For The Ages

The Pacers’ 2000 NBA Finals Squad Was One For The Ages

  Who could ever forget the 1999-00 Indiana Pacers team that made it to the 2000 NBA Finals? That was the only Pacers squad that made it to the NBA Finals since they entered the league in 1976. It was a special group that fell short of winning Indy’s first Larry O’Brien Trophy. Since it’s […]

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Indiana Pacers mascot with fans against the Golden State Warriors at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on December 13, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
(Picture by Andy Lyons/Getty Pictures)

Who may ever overlook the 1999-00 Indiana Pacers group that made it to the 2000 NBA Finals?

That was the one Pacers squad that made it to the NBA Finals since they entered the league in 1976.

It was a particular group that fell in need of profitable Indy’s first Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Because it’s NBA Finals Week, it’s a good time to relive the reminiscences of the 1999-00 Pacers.

The 1999-00 Pacers Had been A Savvy Veteran Squad

The 1999-00 Pacers had been loaded with veterans sprinkled with a touch of youth.

First off, taking pictures guard Reggie Miller was the undisputed coronary heart and soul of the group.

His buddy Mark Jackson ran the purpose guard place with fifth-year man Travis Greatest backing him up.

Lefty small ahead Jalen Rose helped take the scoring load off the 34-year-old Miller’s shoulders.

Ten-year veteran energy ahead Dale “Double D” Davis feared no person down low – he may intimidate, block pictures, and snag rebounds with one of the best of them.

Rik Smits, the 7-foot-4 Dunking Dutchman, was a dependable shooter from 15 ft and in.

Though Smits wasn’t identified for his protection, his low-post scoring prowess was invaluable to the Pacers’ trigger.

Derrick McKey was a long-limbed and poker-faced defensive menace who may rating the occasional three-pointer.

Austin Croshere was the unsung hero off the Pacers’ bench throughout their unbelievable NBA Finals run.

One other lefty veteran, Sam Perkins, proved he nonetheless had a candy stroke regardless of being virtually 40 years previous.

Jonathan Bender, Al Harrington, Jeff Foster, Chris Mullin, and Zan Tabak languished totally on the bench however stepped up when coach Larry Hen requested them to.

Reminiscing The Pacers’ Journey To The 2000 NBA Finals

The 1999-00 Pacers earned the East’s prime seed by advantage of their conference-best 56-26 win-loss document.

They received a formidable 36 video games at their brand-new Conseco Fieldhouse.

Because of Travis Greatest’s nook trifecta in Sport 5 of the opening spherical, they narrowly beat a younger Milwaukee Bucks squad that featured guys like Sam Cassell, Glenn Robinson, and Ray Allen.

Miller and co. then defeated Allen Iverson‘s Philadelphia 76ers in six video games of their second-round collection.

Arguably the spotlight of that collection was Miller and Rose scoring 40 factors apiece of their lopsided 108-91 victory in Sport 1.

Beating the hated New York Knicks in six video games within the Japanese Convention Finals was candy in a number of regards.

The Pacers avenged the painful playoff loss to New York a yr earlier – a stinging defeat that highlighted Larry Johnson‘s four-point play off an Antonio Davis foul.

In addition they made their first NBA Finals look of their twenty fourth yr of existence within the league.

The Pacers took on Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and the Los Angeles Lakers within the 2000 NBA Finals.

Shaq picked up the slack for a hobbling Bryant who had a sore ankle throughout the Finals.

O’Neal averaged 38 factors and 16.7 rebounds per sport on his strategy to incomes 2000 NBA Finals MVP honors.

Though Smits was three inches taller, Shaq’s heft and power within the low submit had been merely an excessive amount of for him to deal with.

For his or her half, Miller and Rose averaged a mixed 47 factors per sport within the Finals.

Croshere stepped up huge time and averaged 15.2 factors off the bench for Indy.

Alas, their efforts weren’t sufficient to forestall L.A. from profitable its twelfth NBA title and first of three consecutive championships.

The Aftermath 

After their 2000 NBA Finals defeat, the Pacers blew up their core nucleus.

First, head coach Larry Hen stepped down after the Finals collection loss to Los Angeles.

Smits retired after 12 NBA seasons on account of nagging foot accidents.

Then again, Jackson bolted for the Toronto Raptors in free company and joined his former Pacers teammate Antonio Davis north of the border.

The Pacers then traded Dale Davis to the Portland Path Blazers for teen Jermaine O’Neal within the offseason.

Mullin returned to Golden State in 2000-01 to complete off his legendary 17-year NBA profession.

The Pacers haven’t returned to the NBA Finals since that memorable 1999-00 marketing campaign.

They virtually made it once they received an unbelievable 61 video games in 2003-04.

Sadly, they misplaced to the Detroit Pistons within the Japanese Convention Finals in six video games.

Nonetheless, that 1999-00 Indiana Pacers group will eternally stay on within the hearts of Blue and Gold followers in every single place.

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