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."