Reggie Miller Would Have Been Unstoppable In The Modern NBA
Reggie Miller was born too soon. If you can’t shoot, you don’t belong in the modern NBA. Too bad that wasn’t the case when Miller was playing in the 90’s. If there was any player born in the wrong era, it was Uncle Reg. We should appreciate how great Miller was and recognize that type of player he could have been if he played today.
Miller played in the NBA for 18 years but only made the All-Star team four times. Oddly enough, there was a ten-year gap between Miller’s first and final All-Star appearance. It represented more than that. The first outing closed out the 1980’s and his last closed out the 1990’s. The NBA was changing, they just weren’t quite ready for Miller.
During Miller’s second NBA season where he was starting to really become established in the NBA, he shot over 40% from 3. Miller had the 9th best mark from downtown in the league. That season Miller attempted 244 3-pointers on the entire season.
Fast forward to 2019 and 28 players shot better than 40% from 3. Better yet, the last guy on the list Ben McLemore shot 425 3-pointers. The NBA has changed. For better or worse, Miller was ahead of his time.
Joe Harris just signed a 4-year contract for $75 million this offseason. Harris is a good basketball player. However, almost all of that contract was handed out because he can shoot the hell out of the ball. Miller would have been a max player year in and year out but it goes to show you how big of a premium shooting is today.
Every team needs a Reggie Miller now. Back then he was a unicorn when he first entered the league. Now guys like Joe Harris get $75 million. Imagine how much money someone like Miller would have made in 18 years today?
Miller shot better than 80% from the free throw line every single year of his career. He also had ten different seasons with a 3-point percentage beyond 40. Even people who aren’t NBA historians know that Miller shot the hell out of the ball. Miller was also CLUTCH which would have been appreciated more today with social media.
The way the game is spaced out now with no hand checking, Miller likely would have been a more deadly long-range assassin. Shooting percentages have skyrocketed since the turn of the millennium. During the 1982-83 season, Isiah Thomas was 2nd in the league in 3-point percentage. He shot 28.8% that year. Think about that…
No, Reggie never won a championship with the Pacers… but also who does? Miller was the best player on the Indiana teams that made five eastern conference appearances in seven years. For those that love The Last Dance, they know that nobody battled Michael Jordan harder other than the Bad Boy Pistons in the 80’s.
While the NBA has changed, Miller was used like a lot of great shooter today. Miller would do those run around screen in order to get open looks from deep. The only difference was that was Indiana’s best offense. Imagine if Miller would have teamed up with a Kevin Durant and played the Klay Thompson role? Miller would have forever been idolized.
No, Miller didn’t play A+ defense like Klay but the guy battled his ass off every night. Miller had this abilty to glide on the court and was Ray Allen before Allen. The only difference is the NBA had gotten to the point where we understood how important Allen is and is immortalized forever by hitting big shots on championship teams.
What if we got the 1995 version of Reggie Miller jacking up 12 3’s a game? His scoring averages would have exploded. A lot of great players didn’t win rings in the 90’s. It’s called Michael Jordan. If Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller played today, they would have rings too.
Reggie Miller was born too soon. The 3-point revolution would have played right into his hands. How would we view a sharpshooter shooting guard that fought LeBron James today? Highly… Miller is a Hall of Famer but oddly enough, could have been better in today’s era.