Is Reggie's playoff reputation overrated?

Reggie Miller has a reputation for being clutch in the playoffs, but is that just a growing legend?

Updated: May 19, 2005, 6:03 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN Insider
Reggie Miller's reputation as a playoff conqueror is suffering a bit in this year's postseason. He is shooting just 38 percent in the series against Detroit, and in the previous series against Boston he airballed a potential series-winning shot in Game 6. Overall, his 13.8 points per game and .402 shooting percentage are down from his season marks of 14.8 and .437.

But perhaps we're overreacting. Nearly everyone's numbers decline in the playoffs because of the steep upgrade in competition. Miller, for instance, has played five straight games against a dominating defense. Without any Hawks or Bobcats on the schedule to offset the rough nights against Detroit, it's no wonder his output has dropped.

We're only surprised because in past seasons Miller has managed to match the increased competition. His career playoff scoring average actually is substantially higher, jumping from 18.2 to 20.6, and of course, he authored two particularly legendary performances in Madison Square Garden.

But how does that compare with other great players of his era? Have others been able to dial up their games as much as Miller has, or is Reggie head and shoulders above the rest in his ability to increase his performance in the playoffs?

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