THE BALLOT BOX
The key to hitting a make-or-break three-pointer, according to this week's poll, is nerves of steel, not a silky-smooth shot. We asked one player, coach or executive from each of the league's 29 teams to name the player he would want to take an open, last-second jumper from behind the arc to tie a game. Reggie Miller, the Pacers' fearless guard, led with seven votes, followed by the Bulls' Michael Jordan with five.
Some of the NBA's purer shooters did make the list: Hornets swingman Glen Rice received three votes, while guard Joe Dumars and forward Terry Mills of the Pistons grabbed two apiece. Still, with the game on the line, our pollees considered sangfroid first, which explains the single votes cast for the Lakers' Nick Van Exel and the Rockets' Charles Barkley. Miller has burned many a foe from downtown at the buzzer (see the Knicks) despite an unorthodox follow-through in which his arms crisscross. "A lot of guys will take those tough shots," says one Atlantic Division assistant coach, "but Reggie thinks they're going in."
And while Jordan has never been known for his range—he's a career 33.2% shooter from behind the three-point line—he's particularly deadly in the clutch. As an Eastern Conference coach puts it, "I'll take Jordan because he's Michael Jordan."