The top ten moments of the Seven Seconds or Less era reaches its penultimate edition, when Steve Nash put away the Spurs with one good eye.
We here at Bright Side of the Sun will be kicking off our summertime Throwback Thursday series a bit early as we
And yes, the Shaquille O'Neal chapter will properly omitted.
Check out the previous installments here:
10. Nash drops 22 dimes on LeBron's Cavs
8. Nash and Kidd battle to the death
6. The wonderful weirdness of the Bench Mob
Defeating the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs was an impossible task for the Phoenix Suns during the Seven Seconds or Less era. Turned out all they had to do was summon a dragon and then close one eye.
Why didn't they think of that before?
On May 9, 2010, the Suns were on the brink of the unthinkable. Not only were they on the cusp of defeating their longtime tormentors, but they had a chance to sweep them.
Sweeping the Mavericks would've been enough of a feat, but this was the Spurs. Roadrunner to our coyote. Bugs to our Fudd. This wasn't ever supposed to happen; the peaceful existence of our planet depended on the Suns always being Ed McMahon to the Spurs' Johnny Carson.
They were Kenny. We would always be Spenny.
Who knows what might happen otherwise?
The universe was about to find out, as the Suns held a 3-0 lead in the Western Semifinals and were looking to deliver the final blow. However, since this was a critical Suns v. Spurs playoff game, Steve Nash was struck in the face and started bleeding profusely.
It's hard to fathom a single Suns fan not thinking of Game 1 in 2007 right at that moment.
Of course that was when Nash's nose came into contact with Tony Parker's big French head with 3 minutes left in a one-point game and utterly refused to stop spurting blood throughout the rest of the game. The Suns would go on to drop the first game and eventually the series.
And here we were again, three years later.
When Tim Duncan's fundamentally sound elbow inadvertently opened up Nash's right eyebrow with 5:53 left in the third and the red vino began to flow, suddenly the dominating 3-0 series lead seemed minuscule. Once again the Spurs had painted a picturesque landscape of an open highway on the side of a boulder that the Suns were about to faceplant into at full speed.
Their 7 point lead might has well have been a 20 point deficit. When the Spurs tied it with 1:29 remaining in the third, everyone watching was sure as hell that the Suns would be the first NBA team to lose a seven-game series after being up 3-0. It was destined. The Cinderella Slipper was about to turn into a beartrap.
Except Nash and the rest of the Suns simply refused to let history repeat itself, instead channeling their inner George McFly as they commanded the Spurs to "leave her alone," once and for all.
Nash returned to start the fourth quarter, looking like Mason Verger from Hannibal. His eyebrow had been patched together and the swelling had taken over the northwest side of his face like a virus, sealing his right eye shut. It was neat that he was out there giving it his all, but this wasn't a Disney movie. A point guard with one eye is about as useless as a lawyer with a conscience.
But whatever gives the guys motivation for Game 5, right?
Except Nash pulled up and drilled a 3 to give the Suns the lead. Then he snaked inside for a floater and a foul to make it 85-80. Then an "Old Guy at the YMCA" flip shot. Then his patented handoff-and-butt-screen assist combo for an Amar'e Stoudemire jumper. Then another handoff for another STAT jumper. Add an assist to a cutting Jared Dudley for an and-1, a lob inside for Stoudemire, a hockey assist for a Jason Richardson 3-bomb, a precision bounce pass for a Stoudemire layup in semi-transistion, and then finally a runner in the lane, and it was confirmed: The Mighty Spurs just had their asses handed to them by a dude with one eye and were officially swept out of the playoffs.
If you'd rather watch it all for yourself than read my description of it, here it is:
As for that pull-up 3 that Nash hit to kick things off, it turns out that hitting an NBA three-pointer with one eye is pretty difficult. Bright Side of the Sun's former overlord Seth Pollack proved it, or rather had some professional basketball players prove it for him using a handy eyepatch ... that Seth, um, carries around ... for some reason.
Dudley and Goran Dragic both airballed, while the Mercury's Temeka Johnson swished one through from the WNBA line.
For Suns fans who were not only prepared for the rug to be pulled out from them but expecting it, there was no more appreciated fact than the laws of physics being impervious to the Canadian resolve of one Steven John Nash.
There were countless occasions in which he pulled his team from the fire, but this one was the sweetest.