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Remembering Game 1 of the 2007 Western Conference Semifinals

NBATV treats fans to a series of Spurs games last week

Phoenix Suns Steve Nash, 2007 NBA Western Conference Semifinals SetNumber: X78014 TK1 R9

What do you think of when you hear the names Alvin Gentry, Sean Makes, and Boris Diaw? If you’re a devout Spurs fan, you know Gentry was a Spurs assistant coach from 1988-1990. It was his first NBA position, but nowhere near his last. Marks played for the Spurs from 2003-2006 and served as an assistant coach form 2013-2016. Diaw played for the Spurs from 2012-2016.

But during the 2007 NBA Western Conference Semifinals, the trio were rivals of the Spurs. Gentry was an assistant coach to Mike D’Antoni, Mr. Pringles himself. Marks was a player though not suited up during Game 1 against the Spurs. There are moments during game breaks when you can see glimpses of the assistant coach in him. And of course, Boris Diaw showed his defensive meddle against Tim Duncan during his 25 minutes on the court.

Last week, NBATV aired some reruns of vintage Spurs games as part of their Hardwood Classics series. Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals pit the Spurs against the Phoenix Suns, who had become rivals during this era.

For those who don’t remember, this was the game in which Steve Nash and Tony Parker bumped heads and although Tony Parker initially seemed to take the brunt of the collision, Nash battled with blood that could not be contained, keeping him out of some key moments in the final minutes of the game.

The matchup of Tony Parker (32 points, 8 assists, and 1 rebound) and Steve Nash (31 points, 8 assists, and 3 rebounds) clearly outlines why Nash was the reigning MVP (back-to-back in 2005 and 2006) and how Parker would go on to claim the Finals MVP honors.

Of course there are the Big 3- Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili. But a great scoring contribution by Michael Finley (19 points) as well as superior rebounding by Ginobili (9), Bruce Bowen, and Robert Horry (7 each) underscore the star power of the Spurs.

On the Suns side, an eight-man rotation of Nash with support from Leandro Barbosa, the (then) reigning Sixth Man of the Year kicked in 11 first half points, ending the game with 18. Sean Marion, who defended Duncan as part of his role, pulled down 6 boards and added 16 points to the Suns score. But it was Amir’s Stoudemire with 18 boards and 20 points who would shine.

I have seen this game multiple times as NBATV plays it periodically, but this time I was able to record it and my daughter was able to watch with me. Another opportunity to better understand why the Spurs are our favorite team.

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