LeBron James (right) averages 34.3 PPG in three career Game 7s, the most in NBA history. Paul George (left) will try to lead the Pacers to their first-ever Conference Finals Game 7 win.The Indiana Pacers visit the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. We give you the reasons to believe that each team will get to the NBA Finals.
Numbers that favor the Heat
Start with the fact that home teams are 89-23 all-time in Game 7s, a .795 winning percentage, and the Heat have been a different team at home in this series.
Though the Pacers manhandled the Heat in the paint in Game 6, Miami is shooting 59.8 percent in the paint at home in the series, nearly 10 percentage points better than Indiana. Overall the Heat have shot 48 percent at home and 43 percent on the road in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Heat are limiting the Pacers to 35.9 percent shooting from 3-point range at home (43.6 percent on the road) and are allowing 10 fewer points per 100 possessions at home (101.5 at home and 111.8 on the road).
That home/road split extends to Pacers big man Roy Hibbert as well --he's averaging 4.7 second-chance points per game and grabbing 14 percent of missed shots while he’s on the floor on the road, down from 9.3 second-chance points per game and a rebounding percentage of 20.3 at home.
The team that scores more points in the paint is 5-0 in the series (Both scored 40 in Game 2). In Miami this series, the Heat average 44.7 paint points per game and the Pacers average 40.0.
The Heat have not lost consecutive games since January 8-10. They’ve only lost two games at home in the same playoff series once in the last three postseasons (2011 NBA Finals).
LeBron James is averaging 32.0 points per game, shooting 55.7 percent and has a PER of 32.0 at home in the series, compared to 25.0 points per game, 46.4 percent and a PER of 26.9 in Indiana.
Numbers that favor the Pacers
Home teams may have a great record in Game 7s, but they are not invincible -- the road team has won two of the past three Conference Final Game 7s.
In fact, eight (out of 24) road teams have won a Game 7 in any series since 2005, including the Chicago Bulls this season .
Indiana Pacers & Miami Heat
In Clutch Time This Series
The Pacers have been better in the clutch this series, averaging 113.8 points per 100 possessions in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime with the score within five points.
The Heat are averaging just 78.4 points per 100 possessions in those situations, turning the ball over on more than a quarter of their possessions.
Not all of the home/road splits favor Miami in Game 7. The Pacers are allowing almost five fewer transition points per game on the road, limiting the Heat to 12.0 transition points per game in Miami (down from 16.7 at home).
Paul George is averaging 25.3 points per game and has a PER of 22.0 on the road in the series, compared to 17.7 points per game and a PER of 14.7 at home.
They are +28 in second-chance points in the series and have outscored the Heat on second chances in four of the six games. Indiana was +9 on second-chance points in Game 6.
As good as LeBron is, he’s only 1-2 in Game 7s, losing two with the Cavaliers and winning one with the Heat.
Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh Combined
Past 3 Postseasons
Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have provided little support for the Heat. Wade is averaging 13.6 points this postseason, his worst in any postseason in his career and the first time he’s averaged under 20 points per game since 2003-04 (his first postseason), when he averaged 18.0 points.
Likewise, Chris Bosh’s 12.5 points per game average is his lowest in any postseason. Bosh has scored fewer than 10 points in each of his past three games, his longest such streak since a run of four straight games in February, 2004.