Friday, June 8, 2012
Game 7 snapshot preview: The history
By ESPN Stats & Information
Getty Images/Jim RogashThe Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will meet in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals Saturday at 8 ET on ESPN for a chance to advance to the NBA Finals.
The Celtics veteran core has big-game experience aplenty.
Boston is seeking its third NBA Finals appearance since 2008, which would match the Los Angeles Lakers for the most over that span.
On the other side, the Heat are looking to appear in the NBA Finals in back-to-back seasons for the first time in franchise history, and third time overall.
We’ll take a couple of looks at this leading up to the game, but let’s run through some of the historical notes of significance.
Celtics in Games 7s
Since the combo of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen began playing together entering the 2007-08 season, the Celtics are 4-2 in Game 7s, outscoring their opponents by an average of six points.
Three of those four victories were by at least 10 points, including Boston’s most recent Game 7, an 85-75 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in this year’s conference semifinals.
Saturday marks the Celtics’ 29th Game 7 in their franchise, the most in NBA history. In their previous 28 Game 7s, Boston won 21 of them, also the most of any franchise in NBA history.
Experience says that this Celtics bunch has the edge. Boston has 36 games of Game 7 experience on their current roster. Miami has just 19.
Heat in Game 7s
This marks only the sixth Game 7 in the Heat’s franchise history. Miami enters 2-3 all-time in Game 7s. However, since their Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were assembled entering last season, this is their first Game 7 as a tandem.
Three-time MVP LeBron James has never won a Game 7 in two attempts in his career. Dwyane Wade is 1-2 in such games in his career.
This game will take place in Miami. In NBA history, home teams have gone on to win Game 7 80.0 percent of the time (88-22).
Did You Know?
James has averaged 36 points in his career in Game 7s. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the highest Game 7 scoring average in NBA history among players who’ve played at least two such games.
James has been on a scoring spree this seriesrecording at least 25 points in all six games, including a 2012 postseason-high 45 points in Game 6.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, James is the first player to score at least 25 points in six consecutive games against the Celtics in a single postseason since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s seven such games for the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1974 postseason.
That 1974 Game 7 is significant in one other regard.
It marks the last time that the Celtics won Game 7 of a postseason series on the road.
Ernest Tolden contributed research to this story