The Indiana Pacers advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday with a 130-109 win in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup against the New York Knicks. In doing so, they became the first team in this series to win a game on the road. The Knicks and Pacers have had legendary playoff battles in the past and following the game, Tyrese Haliburton paid tribute to Pacers legend Reggie Miller with a sweater depicting Miller's famous choke gesture as per Angela Moryan of WISH-TV.

Reggie Miller's choke gesture was made famous during the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals when the Knicks blew a lead in the fourth quarter of Game 5 amid a 25-point outburst from Miller. The gesture was directed towards Knicks superfan Spike Lee who was sitting courtside. The Knicks would still go on to win that series in 7 games.

This Eastern Conference Semifinal series was just the latest chapter in a rivalry renewed. Tyrese Haliburton had one of his best games of this series finishing with 26 points, four rebounds, six assists, one steal and one blocked shot. He shot 10-of-17 from the field and 6-of-12 from the three point line.

But Haliburton insisted that the Miller sweater had nothing to do with the Pacers and Knicks playoff rivalry as per Haliburton said he just wanted to be comfortable on the plane ride home and he spoke a bit about the mentor role Miller has taken towards him.

“We text every day,” Miller said. “He's been a great mentor for me.”

Tyrese Haliburton leading Pacers back to glory days

ndiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) reacts during the fourth quarter of game seven of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It's been quite a few seasons since the Pacers were a threat in the Eastern Conference come playoff time. But this current iteration of the Pacers is hoping to change that. When the season began, they weren't exactly looked at as being contenders, but their trade deadline acquisition of Pascal Siakam helped change their trajectory.

The Pacers were fortunate that during their first round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks that Giannis Antetokounmpo was injured. But they still won that series and then were able to dispatch the Knicks. They'll now face the top team in the league record-wise in the Boston Celtics.

Since the Pacers acquired Tyrese Haliburton in a trade with the Sacramento Kings, he's become one of the NBA's top point guards. This past season, he was named to his second consecutive All-Star appearance while appearing in 69 games at a little over 32 minutes per game.

He averaged 20.1 points per game, 3.9 rebounds, a career-high and league-leading 10.9 assists and 1.2 steals with splits of 47.7 percent shooting from the field, 36.4 percent shooting from the field and 85.5 percent shooting from the free throw line.

During the playoffs so far, Haliburton has been averaging 18.3 points per game, 5.1 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 1.2 steals with splits of 48.3 percent shooting from the field, 36.1 percent shooting from the three point line and 87.5 percent shooting from the free throw line.

This season was the first since the 2023-14 season that the Pacers had won a playoff series when they defeated the Atlanta Hawks in seven games.