Orenthal wrote:The Kemp led rookie squad had that one enjoyable playoff series against the Pacers. In shape Kemp was a monster in that series, and him not getting hella fat and Z breaking could have made that a decent team to watch, as opposed to the abomination it became.
Kemp did have a great series. 26 and 10. But as far as it being "enjoyable," they lost that series 3-1. It really wasn't close.
That was probably the best Pacers team in their franchise's history. Even better than the team that made it to the Finals two years later. They were battle-tested and deep. Reggie Miller at arguably his zenith. Antonio and Dale Davis. Mark Jackson. Chris Mullin. Rik Smits. Jalen Rose. All playing at a high level.
Two rounds later, they engaged in an absolutely epic seven-game ECF showdown with the aging, last-hurrah MJ Bulls. They pushed the Bulls harder than maybe any playoff opponent in the Jordan era, and very nearly upset them. I found a highlight capsule of the series on YouTube last week. Wish I would have bookmarked it for this post. I watched that, and remembered what a heavyweight title fight that series was.
I digressed from the original point of my post, but the Cavs were just a speed bump for the Pacers that year.