Shake Milton of all people was the sixers hero of game 2. Doc Rivers put him in the game out of sheer desperation. And he delivered big time. Scoring 14 points in just as many minutes and while being blazing hot from downtown.
In a way he brought Philly the win, by blowing the game open with this truly unexpected and memorable performance.
So today, we’re taking a look at some of those unsung heroes.
What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
A 49th selection in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets, Powe was subsequently traded to the Celtics.
His rookie season was modest to put it lightly. Powe averaged 4.2 points in 11.4 minutes per contest. Yet, the formation of the big three in the summer of 2007 in Boston might have been the best thing that ever happened to him. Though his averages in the 2007-08 season, too, were unspectacular, people in and around the league began noticing him.
But what happened around five months later shocked the entire basketball world. In Game 2 of the 2008 NBA Finals, Powe erupted for 21 crucial points as Boston won, 108-102. The sophomore was aggressive from the moment he entered the floor, as evidenced by the fact that he scored nine of those points from the free-throw line. An underrated stat of his performance is that he spent just 15 minutes on the floor. As we all know, the Celtics would eventually go on to win the 2008 title. That’s why Celtics fans will always have a soft spot for him.
Did you know that Mike Miller was actually the Rookie of the Year in 2001 and Sixth Man of the Year in 2006. But even though he was a spectacular shooter (40.7% from deep for his career), his career until he joined the Big Three in Miami didn’t suggest he would one day be perhaps the crucial factor in a Finals game.
Even LeBron, Wade, and Bosh, and Spoelstra and Riley for that matter, had to have been shocked after Game 5 of the 2012 Finals. The Heat, up 3-1 against the Oklahoma City, needed a win to secure the second title in their history. The focus was of course on the LeBron-Durant matchup. However, Miller outshone even them, despite James’ triple-double and KD’s 32 points.
In just 23:14 minutes on the floor, Miller was unconscious from deep, hitting seven three pointers. What’s crazy, even by his standards, is that he needed just eight attempts to do so. Miller finished with 23 points and five rebounds, his performance being entrenched in Heat history.
Mike would stay with this team for the following season as well, and win another championship. Which was followed by a one-year stay in Cleveland, and a two-year stint with the Nuggets to finish off his career.
Most people remember John Paxson for his three-pointer against the Phoenix Suns in the 1993 Finals, which effectively sealed the Chicago Bulls’ first three-peat. Yet, though such a shot may be the pinnacle for a player of а similar stature, that is not the case with the Bulls guard.
In Game 5 of the 1991 Finals, Paxson went off for 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting in the clinching 108-101 victory. He scored 10 of Chicago’s last 15 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the final minutes to break open a close game. Though Jordan scored 30 points, there was a moment in the fourth quarter when Phil Jackson specifically told Jordan to get the ball to Paxson. And of course the sharpshooter delivered big time, helping the Chicago Bulls secure the title.
As one Bulls fan would jokingly explain, Paxson’s three against the Suns is for boys, his Game 5 performance against the Lakers is for men.
Paxson, who averaged 7.2 points per game for his career, would retire with the Bulls with three rings in 1994. And he has held various positions within Chicago's front office since 2003.
Kenny The Jet Smith
It seems that as time goes by, younger fans will remember Kenny Smith more as the guy from Inside the NBA than as Kenny “the Jet’ Smith from the Rockets. That, however, would be unfair. This is not to say that Smith was a spectacular player, but anytime you win two championships and average 12.8 points per game and 39.9% from deep for your career, a majority of players would take that any day.
Kenny Smith Game 1 of 1995 Finals: 23 PTS / 9 AST / 7-11 3PT
But what he did in Game 1 of the 1995 Finals against the Magic made basketball fans forget all about those numbers.
The Jet played 42 minutes, finishing with 23 points and nine assists. 21 of those points came on a then-Finals record seven three pointers (on 11 attempts).
His contribution cannot be overstated, especially since the Magic had been up by as many as 20 with a little under four minutes to go until the end of the half.
His career moment even came at the end of regulation.
With his team down by three. Mario Elie inbounded to Kenny, who dribbled twice to the top of the key, pump-faked Penny Hardaway and leaned left to bury a 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left to tie game and force overtime.
9 Ιούν 2021