Game 7 (06/03/13)

By John Ewing

With a trip to the NBA Finals on the line we look back at LeBron's history in Game 7 as well as some other fun facts.

Miami looks to advance to the NBA Finals for the third straight year while Indiana looks to avoid a playoff exit at the hands of the Heat for the second year in a row. Miami is a decided favorite despite the Pacers winning Game 6 and forcing Game 7.

Spread: Miami -7, opened at -7.5 but has been bet down, showing -6.5 in some places. Nine of the last twelve Game 7’s have been decided by double digits.

Money-line: Heat -350, Pacers +290

Total: opened at 181, bet down to 180.5

Here is a quote from Kevin Bradley, Sports Book Manager,

“As has been the case in all of Miami’s home games in this series the public are on the Pacers taking the 7 points and the over 181 is once again a popular bet taking 75% of the money as of this morning.”

Does experience matter?

The Heat have 13 players who have played in a Game 7, while the Pacers have just 2, David West and Sam Young. 

Does the team with the best player usually win?

It appears so, below are the last 10 Game 7's. * Denotes team with best player (this is subjective).

  • 2013: Bulls defeat Nets*
  • 2012: Heat* defeat Celtics
  • 2012: Celtics* defeat 76ers
  • 2012: Clippers* defeat Grizzlies
  • 2012: Lakers* defeat Nuggets
  • 2011: Thunder* defeat Grizzlies
  • 2010: Lakers* defeat Celtics
  • 2010: Hawks* defeat Bucks
  • 2009: Magic* defeat Celtics
  • 2009: Lakers* defeat Rockets

LeBron James averages 34.3 PPG in Game 7's. That's the highest average by any player that's played in at least 2 such games.

LeBron’s Game 7 history

In LeBron’s 10-year career his teams have faced three Game 7's; James is 1-2 in those games.

2006: Pistons 79, Cavaliers 61

  • LeBron scored 27 points; only one teammate was in double digits.

2008: Celtics 97, Cavaliers 91

  • LeBron scored 45 points; again only one teammate scored in double digits.

2012: Heat 101, Celtics 88

  • LeBron scored 31 points; Wade and Bosh combined for 42 points.

NBA Game 7 History

  • Since the inception of the NBA, 112 Game 7's have been played.
  • Of the 112 games, the road team has won only 23 Game 7's.
  • There have been 12 playoff seasons in which no Game 7's were played.
  • Only one franchise has never played in a Game 7's: the Charlotte Bobcats.
  • The 1994 postseason held the record for most Game 7's played, with 5.
  • Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks both hold the record for most Game 7's played in a single season, having played three Game 7's in 1988 and 1994 respectively.