Saturday, June 9, 2012
Game 7 predictions roundup
A roundup of our predictions for tonight's Game 7:
* Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston.com: Heat. But only because I'm too proud to change my prediction from before the series (even if it'll be a game late). On one hand, the Celtics have responded every time their backs have been against the wall this season. On the other, Miami has an awful lot of confidence and momentum -- and, of course, home-court advantage -- coming off that LeBron-fueled Game 6 beatdown in Boston. Honestly, I've given up trying to predict what Boston team will show up. Expect the unexpected. More importantly, expect a good game. Here's hoping Game 7 doesn't disappoint.
* Peter May, ESPNBoston.com: I picked Boston in 7 and I'm sticking with it. LeBron will come up short again
* Greg Payne, ESPNBoston.com: Game 7 will be a slugfest from start to finish. Neither team will run away with this one, and I see it unfolding like a better-played Game 5. It'll be close throughout, the Heat will have a 4-6 point edge with six or seven minutes left, and the Celtics will mount one final late rally and pull it out, punching their tickets to OKC. Rajon Rondo will come through with a triple-double, Kevin Garnett will get back in the paint, and Paul Pierce will supply some much needed complimentary offense.
* Israel Gutierrez, ESPN.com: The Heat. Forget all the postseason trends and percentages. Just look at the Heat's 6-0 record in home games after a home loss. Miami's average margin of victory in those six wins was 21.5 points. Short of another Rondo takeover, this might not be close.
* Tom Haberstroh, ESPN.com: The Heat. But that's only because they're on their home court. And the coin I just flipped came up heads.
* Michael Wallace, ESPN.com: Heat. Even though the road team won the past two games in this series, this sets up to be a winner-take-all game for the Heat at home. But if the Celtics are in striking distance with three minutes left, I wouldn't necessarily want to be in the Heat's shoes.
* Brian Windhorst, ESPN.com: I should be disqualified. I've constantly gotten this matchup wrong for the past two years. My head defaults to promises I made to never kick dirt on the Celtics until it truly is over. But I also know the percentages of what home teams do in Game 7s. Push to shove, I guess I begrudgingly pick the Heat with the belief that the difference is an unsung hero such as Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier or Udonis Haslem.