Wednesday, June 19, 2013

NBA Finals - Game 7's

After an epic Game 6, the prevailing assumption will be that the Heat will triumph on their home floor in Game 7.  Can the Spurs get off the mat after being so close to a knockout of their own?  Let's take a look at how other 7-game NBA Finals have played out under the current format.

2010 - Los Angeles Lakers defeat Boston Celtics 4 games to 3
Game 7:  Lakers 83, Celtics 79 @Los Angeles
Game 6:  Lakers 89, Celtics 67

The Celtics led 3-2 and were blown-out in Game 6 on the road.  They did not win the series, but they did not mail it in in Game 7.  Still, this result favors the HEAT.

2005 - San Antonio Spurs defeat Detroit Pistons 4 games to 3
Game 7:  Spurs 81, Pistons 74 @San Antonio
Game 6:  Pistons 95, Spurs 86

The Spurs needed to bounce back after losing Game 6 at home, giving them some hope and some experience in coming back after a loss to win a Game 7.  This is the series I am pointing to if I am Popovich, Duncan, Parker and Ginobili.  The challenge is that this time it is on the road.  This result though slightly favors the SPURS.

1994 - Houston Rockets defeat New York Knicks 4 games to 3
Game 7:  Rockets 90, Knicks 84 @Houston
Game 6:  Rockets 86, Knicks 84

Another Game 7 win for the Home team, another for the winner of Game 6.  The Knicks had a chance to win Game 6 at the end, then seemingly couldn't make a shot in Game 7.  If the Spurs offense struggles, Danny Green might be the new John Starks.  Favor to the HEAT.

1988 - Los Angeles Lakers defeat Detroit Pistons 4 games to 3
Game 7:  Lakers 108, Pistons 105 @Los Angeles
Game 6:  Lakers 103, Pistons 102

It is a clean sweep for the Home team in Game 7's under the current 2-3-2 format.  The result may have been different had Isaiah Thomas been able to play beyond halftime in Game 7.  Once again though, this result favors the HEAT.

4 Game 7's under the current Finals format and 4 wins for the home team.  The solace for viewers is that the average margin has been 5 points, so the road team has stayed in the game.  The last time a road team won a Game 7 in the finals was 1978 when the Bullets won at the Super Sonics.  Can it happen 35 years later?  Tune in Thursday for some new history to be written.

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