Reggie Miller Was Super Excited To Face Bulls In ’98 Eastern Conference Finals: ‘This Is It, I’m Gonna Retire Michael Jordan’

The Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls faced off in the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals. NBA legends Reggie Miller and Michael Jordan were the two best players in the series and Miller was super excited to face Jordan and the Bulls. 

NBA, Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls, Reggie Miller, Indiana Pacers
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“We all looked at the Bulls as the standard model of success,” Miller said in The Last Dance docuseries. “They were considered the best at that time, but we felt — I feel to this day — we were the better team. 

“The whole thing is, there was whispers that this was going to be Mike’s last year. So I think a perfect storm was brewing. And in my mind, I was thinking, ‘All right, this is it, you’re gonna retire Michael Jordan.'”

The ’98 Eastern Conference Finals was a thrilling series. The Bulls won Games 1 and 2 at home to take a 2-0 series lead, but the Pacers responded by winning Games 3 and 4 in Indiana. 

Miller hit a game-winning 3-pointer in Game 4 with 0.7 seconds left in regulation. The Pacers had all the momentum going into Game 5 and some NBA pundits thought Jordan and the Bulls were in trouble. 

However, Chicago won Game 5 in blowout fashion by a final score of 106-87. Indiana won Game 6, 92-89, setting up a Game 7 at the United Center. 

Game 7 was compelling from start to finish. The Pacers outscored the Bulls 27-19 in the first quarter, but Chicago responded by outscoring Indiana 29-18 in the second quarter. 

The Bulls won the third quarter 21-20 and the fourth quarter 19-18 to win Game 7 by a final score of 88-83. Jordan finished with 28 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in 42 minutes, while Miller put up 22 points in 40 minutes. 

“We had the better team, I really do believe that,” Miller said. “But championship DNA and championship experience really rose to the forefront in Game 7 for Chicago.”

The Bulls advanced to the 1998 NBA Finals, beating the Utah Jazz in six games for their sixth championship. Jordan won his sixth Finals MVP and retired from the NBA. 

Both Miller and Jordan are in the Hall of Fame. Miller averaged 18.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists with the Pacers, while Jordan averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists with the Bulls and Washington Wizards. 

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