San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan's Heroics in the 2008 Playoffs
One particular memory came up a couple of times when I received responses to this survey. If you've been a Spurs fan for longer than 12 years, this one shouldn't surprise you. I'll let our first fan, Pounding the Rock writer Noah Magaro-George (@N_Magaro on Twitter), recount the moment in his own words:
Earlier in his message to me, Noah relayed how he would often pick up a ball and bounce it around on the porch when he would get nervous during games. "Anything was better than sitting through a commercial break and fidgeting around in suspense," he said. He continued:
"Then I finally sat down on the couch for the final possession of OT, and Pop surprises everyone, drawing up an ATO inbounds play for a Duncan 3-pointer. Manu comes around the Duncan screen, whips it back out to him beyond the arc, and Timmy drains the triple to force a second extra period. San Antonio eventually went on to win that game, and that was honestly the point where Tim Duncan could do no wrong in my eyes. He was my GOAT."
"Of course, San Antonio didn't win a title that year and the Big Fundamental had at least a million accomplishments more impressive than that in his storied career. But that's the memory I immediately recall when I think back on my life as a Spurs fan."
#SpursTwitter legend and meme champion Dylan Gonzalez (@dylangonzalez21) had the same memory stick out as his favorite:
"It was probably the 3-pointer versus the Suns in the playoffs," he said. "That rivalry was always so fun and I remember appreciating the game at the time but going back and watching it as a person who understands the game more than I did at the time. It really was just an incredible game down the stretch."
Looking back at the game, it was a miracle the Spurs were able to pull it off. After having suffered a postseason defeat from San Antonio the season prior, the Suns rushed out to a 43-27 second-quarter lead to start the 2008 series. The pick and roll combination of Amar'e Stoudemire and Steve Nash was unstoppable, and it looked like the Suns were headed for revenge.
Still, San Antonio managed to keep things close enough to force overtime, leading to Tim's first 3-pointer of the season coming at the perfect time. In the second overtime, it was Manu Ginobili who finally closed the door on Phoenix, scoring eight points to give the Spurs a 117-115 win. It was an unforgettable game all around.