The San Antonio Spurs lost their first preseason game at the hands of European team Alba Berlin, 94-93. Part of the NBA’s Global Game initiative the Spurs travelled to Berlin, Germany to face Alba Berlin in a game many predicted would be a cake walk.
That thinking turned out to be false as Alba Berlin defeated the San Antonio Spurs on a buzzer beater.
So, now that the game is over, what do we make of the Spurs’ loss to Alba Berlin? Will this loss be a sign predicting trouble in the future? Today we break down the game against Alba Berlin by the numbers to see what this loss actually entails.
16 – This is the biggest lead the San Antonio Spurs held against Alba Berlin. the Spurs led by 16 points early in the first quarter but it was all Alba Berlin after that point, resulting in a one point loss at the horn.
33.3% – This is the winning percentage of European teams against NBA teams when the game is played overseas. Since the NBA implemented their global games initiative, NBA teams have travelled to Europe 21 times, 22 if you include this match, to play games. Heading in to Wednesday’s match-up against Alba Berlin, European teams had a 7-14 record against NBA teams.
-7.5 – This is the point differential between NBA teams and European teams when they have played in the preseason. NBA teams usually perform very well against European competition, which is not surprising given the fact that the NBA is widely considered to be the best basketball league in the world.
22 – This is the number of wins European teams would be expected to win in the NBA if point differential was used as the main factor to calculate winning percentage. Using point differential to calculate winning percentage is a common way to measure a team’s true strength as it runs out the factor of escaping with small victories.
19 – This is the biggest victory margin a European team has claimed. Way back in 2006, Russian team CSKA Moscow dominated the Corey Maggette lead Los Angeles Clippers, beating them 94-75. While this winning margin was huge, it is not the norm. Most European team wins are by slim margins.
2 – There have been two occasions in which an NBA team had the opportunity to face another European team after losing their first game against a European team. In those two previous games, the NBA team won with an average margin of 22 points.
38 – This is the average number of games won during the regular season by both those teams in the regular season, 06-07 Philadelphia 76ers and 12-13 Boston Celtics, following a defeat in their first preseason game against a European team. The 76ers went on to win their second game against a European team in the preseason by 14 points while the Celtics won their game by 30. It is also important to here that during the 76ers season they traded away Allen Iverson while the Celtics lost Rajon Rondo to an ACL tear during their season.
15 – The San Antonio Spurs have brought back all 15 players from their championship run. This bodes well for the team going forward as last year’s Spurs won 62 regular season games.
1 – Out of all the three teams that have had two preseason games in Europe, the 76ers and the Celtics being the two others, only the San Antonio Spurs have won a championship in the previous season.
The San Antonio Spurs might have lost their first preseason game against Alba Berlin but there is no reason to worry. The Spurs are tested and experienced and should easily be able to put this loss behind them.
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With that said, it will be important to see the kind of start San Antonio gets off to against their next opponent Fenerbahçe Ülker. If the Spurs struggle against the team from Turkey, it might become time for Spurs fans to become concerned for the regular season.
The Spurs have great coaching and great players though, meaning that they should be able to win. If anything, this loss against Alba Berlin just serves as a reminder that you cannot take a game off, no matter who the opponent.
What do you think of the Spurs’ loss against Alba Berlin? Let us know in the comments!
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