1998 Eastern Conference Finals
Date: May 17-May 31, 1998
Teams and result: Chicago Bulls over Indiana Pacers in seven games.
The 1998 Eastern Conference Finals was the first time since 1990 (which we just covered) that the dynasty known as the '90s Bulls was pushed to an elimination game in the Conference Finals. After the Bulls took the first two contests, the Pacers won Game 3 and then Reggie Miller hit a (controversial) game winning three-pointer in Game 4 with 0.7 seconds left to avoid a 3-1 deficit and capped the moment with an iconic celebration. After Chicago won Game 5 by 19, the Pacers played tight at the end of Game 6 to force a seventh game. (Did you follow all that?)
In the final game (after Jordan guaranteed a victory), the Pacers amassed a 13-point lead early but found themselves down by four as the fourth quarter rolled around. No doubt a loss would've been a stain on Jordan's legacy, and with the Pacers fighting harder then any team, many in the Chicago crowd must have been wondering if the Bulls had gotten old. And then Michael did what he built his name on, he "willed" his team to a victory, showing a competitive fire that people will still reference 50 years from now.