Play-by-play covers psychological moves more than physical ones; a pic that stretches past sports.
Boom, baby! Hitting from the top of the key, Dan Klores’ basketball docu “Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. the New York Knicks” pays playful tribute to the 6-foot-7 Indiana Pacers marksman whose trash-talking made his mid-’90s playoff meetings with the Knicks particularly memorable. Footage of these classic contests is thrillingly edited by David Zieff, while even talking heads — including John Starks and Spike Lee, Miller’s rivals on and off the court — have a spring in their step. Bouncy play-by-play covers psychological moves more than physical ones, resulting in a pic that stretches past sports. ESPN airs the docu in March.
Knicks fans may find “Winning Time” hard to take, but many others will jump at the chance to relive a long-running competition that played off tensions between rural and urban culture. An unpopular draft pick in ’87, the charismatic Miller had to win the support of Indiana spectators en route to winning games, his trademark taunts inspiring the Pacers while driving the Knicks nuts. A treasure trove of footage spans from milky tape of Miller’s high-school games to hilarious shots of Knicks cheerleader Lee unwittingly inspiring his nemesis from courtside.
— Rob Nelson