What stats could play major roles in tonight’s game?
Over the past 25 NBA seasons, there have been 12 Game 7s in conference finals. Following is a look at 10 stats that shaped these games. (Conference Finals Game 7 = CFG7)
1. Home Teams
The home teams have won 10 of the last 12 CFG7s. In the last two CFG7s—Detroit vs. Miami (2005) and L.A. Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings (2002)—the away teams won Game 7s.
2. The Teams That Won Game 6
The teams that won Game 6 in their respective series went on to win Game 7 in only three of the 12 CFG7s since 1987.
The average margin of victory has been just under 10 points in the last 12 CFG7s. In seven of the 12 games, the margin of victory was six points or less. In the other five games, the teams won by 13 or more points. Five of the last six CFG7 games have been decided by six points or less.
4. Halftime Leads
The teams that won Game 7s were leading at the half in eight of the 12 games.
5. Leads Going into the 4th Quarter
The teams that won Game 7s were leading going into the fourth quarter in eight of the 12 games.
6. Bench Scoring
Not a factor in Game 7s. Only two of the 12 teams that won Game 7s saw their benches outscore their opponents' reserves.
What was significant was that the teams whose starting fives outscored the other teams' starting fives won 11 of the 12 games.
The teams that won Game 7s out-rebounded their opponents in 10 of the 12 games and tied for rebound totals in one game.
The winning teams had fewer turnovers in six of the 12 games; in two games the victors had the same number of turnovers as the losing teams.
Winning teams had more assists in seven of the 12 games; in one game, both teams had the same number of assists.
While the turnover and assist totals didn’t seem to make significant differences, if you figure out the assist-to-turnover ratio, an interesting stat develops: The teams that had higher assist-to-turnover ratios in the 12 CFG7 games won 10 and lost only two.
10. Three-Point Field Goals Made
The teams that made more three-point shots won six times; the victors made the same number of three-point shots as the losing teams in three games.
Did you know? Five teams that won conference finals Game 7s since 1987 went on to win NBA titles.
Seven of the teams that won conference finals Game 7s went on to lose the NBA Finals.
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