Miller, who has spent his entire 18-year career with Indiana, has announced that this will be his last season even with one year left on his contract. He was a controversial first-round draft pick by the Pacers in 1987 ahead of University of Indiana star Steve Alford and blossomed into one of the game’s premier shooting guards.
The 39-year-old ranks 12th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list and has been a major key in Indiana’s surge to a playoff berth in a season plagued by injuries and suspensions. Miller is averaging 17.7 points in 30 games since the All-Star break.
“Personally, I took it upon myself that I was going to try and will this team in any shape or form to make the playoffs,” Miller said.
Indiana can clinch the sixth seed in the East and a first-round meeting with Boston with a win. A loss and a win by Philadelphia over Atlanta on Wednesday pushes the Pacers to seventh and a first-round meeting with defending champion Detroit.
“I am not very much concerned about who we play,” Indiana forward Jermaine O’Neal said. “Either way, we will have to go into somebody’s building. It is not about who we play, but how we are playing.”
O’Neal is averaging 16 points and six rebounds in two games since returning from missing more than a month of action with a shoulder injury as he tries to round into form for the playoffs.
Chicago clinched the No. 4 seed and home-court advantage in the first round with a 92-91 victory over New York on Tuesday. Ben Gordon’s jumper with 5.8 seconds left was the game-winner for the Bulls, who will enter the postseason without starters Eddy Curry (heart) and Luol Deng (wrist).
“I’m very proud of our guys,” Chicago coach Scott Skiles said. “Considering what we’ve gone through, it’s a great accomplishment.”
The Bulls are set to make their first playoff appearance since Michael Jordan left the team in 1998 and will host Washington in the opener of a first-round series that starts Sunday.
Chicago has dropped 13 straight games at Conseco Fieldhouse since Jordan left the team.