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TNT’s Miller hopes to see OKC-Indiana matchup in NBA Finals

by Mel Bracht Published: January 13, 2014

In a telephone interview last week, TNT analyst Reggie Miller talked about his love for the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise and how he would like to see the Thunder play his former team, the Indiana Pacers, in the NBA Finals.
Here’s Miller:
“How great would it be in my ideal world: Indiana vs. OKC, on (commissioner David) Stern’s way out. Everyone says you have to have a big market in the finals. If it’s OKC-Indiana, the general fan probably will not tune in. But the basketball purist, that is a great series with great matchups. It’s probably hard to market that in terms of TV audiences, they are in the lower half. From a basketball purist, that would be (Russell) Westbook and George Hill or Westbrook and Lance Stephenson. Then you have Paul George vs. KD. That would be fabulous. (Roy) Hibbert and Kendrick Perkins, those two scowling at one another. Oh, that would be so good! It helps when the small markets can contend with the Bostons, the Chicagos, the LAs.
Miller raved about how general manager Sam Presti has developed the Thunder into a first-class franchise while operating in one of the league’s smallet markets:
“They don’t have the luxury of getting big free agents because the owner will open up the pocketbook because they don’t care about the luxury tax. Small-market teams have to get it done through the draft. They have to draft well and they have to manage your free agents, which if thay do have a true superstar like Westbrook and Durant, find pieces that will fit around them. I love everything about OKC because they remind me a lot of my 18 years in Indiana. You play in a small market. You are really the only show in town, although we had the Colts. They didn’t really come on until I retired. When you’re the only show in town, they live and die through your every game. That’s what makes it so special.”

by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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