That’s not a misprint. German power ALBA Berlin beat the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs 94-93 today in Berlin on a game-winning buzzer-beater by former Xavier University standout Jamel McLean. Making the result even more surprising? Gregg Popovich played a rotation similar to one San Antonio will utilize during the regular season.
Here’s video of the game’s defining sequence. What a moment for McLean and company in front of their hometown fans.
We’ll be honest – when we first heard the result, we didn’t bat an eye. Popovich sometimes rests his regulars for entire games during the regular season, so we just assumed that Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, and Manu Ginobili sat for the game’s vast majority. Nope.
Duncan, Parker, and Leonard were joined by Boris Diaw in playing at least 29 minutes against Berlin Albatrosse, and Ginobili, Danny Green, and Marco Bellini each notched 22 minutes of court-time or more. Tiago Splitter was absent due to a minor calf injury, but he was the only San Antonio regular missing. These were the real Spurs!
But don’t get too excited, fans of competing contenders like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder. This means next to nothing other than San Antonio had a bad day at the office – Pop’s team coughed the ball up a lazy 22 times. “Upsets” like this aren’t uncommon during the exhibition slate, especially when the NBA team’s opponent is playing on its home soil. Like the past 15 seasons, the Spurs aren’t going anywhere in this one.
Good for ALBA Berlin, though. That’s some way to start the 2014-2015 season of their own.
(Video via Wojciech Bielewicz)
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