With the San Antonio Spurs leading the Utah Jazz 90-87 and five seconds remaining Friday, Manu Ginobili was caught between guarding Marvin Williams (a 34 percent 3-point shooter) and Randy Foye (a 40 percent 3-point shooter) on the perimeter.
Instead of sticking with either, Ginobili double-teamed Al Jefferson (a 13 percent 3-point shooter who was standing inside the arc anyway), leaving Danny Green to cover both Williams and Foye.
Jefferson kicked it Foye, who passed to a wide-open Marvin Williams in the corner as Green closed on Foye. Of course, Williams hit the 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.
“I don’t know what I was thinking to completely black out,” Ginobili said. “A terrible mistake. I’m disappointed. I’m sorry I let my teammates down. We could have lost the game and, hopefully, I don’t do it ever again.
“Today we won it but in a playoff game it could have been even elimination. I’m very sorry and it was an awful distraction.”
Ginobili made up for the mistake by making his only shot in overtime, a 3-pointer that gave the Spurs the lead for good, and grabbing a couple contested rebounds in the extra period – yet he still apologized. It’s unfair to expect perfection from Ginobili, but some of his success can be explained by him expecting it from himself.