Can Miami Heat win title with back-to-back Game Seven series victories?

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Logo of the NBA Finals.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If the Miami Heat is going to repeat as NBA champs, they will need to win two straight at home over San Antonio. Not an impossible task, but a formidable one for sure.

If the Heat win Games Six and Seven, they will become only the third team in NBA history to win the title with a Game Seven win in the both the conference finals and the finals series. The other two?

* The 1962 Boston Celtics: The Celtics won the 1961-61 NBA crown by defeating Philadelphia in seven games in the division finals and then winning Game Seven of the NBA Finals over the Lakers.

* The 1988 Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers of ’88 are the only team in NBA history to win the championship after winning three straight Game Sevens. The Lakers beat Utah in seven games in the conference semis, won Game Seven over Dallas in the conference finals, and then won the deciding seventh game in the NBA Finals over Detroit.

In 1984, the NBA went to a playoff system whereby 16 teams made the playoffs. Since then, no team has gone the entire playoffs in a season undefeated. The closest was in 2001 when the Lakers lost only one playoff game in their championship run.

The 2008 Boston Celtics hold the distinction of being the champion since 1984 that lost the most playoff games in a title season. The ’08 Celtics lost 10 games in that playoff season.

Following are the teams that lost six or more games in the playoffs in the year they won the title (1984-2012).

Playoff losses (season), team/year

10: Boston, 2008

9: Los Angeles Lakers, 1988

8: Boston, 1984; Houston, 1994; Los Angeles Lakers, 2000, San Antonio, 2003

7: Chicago, 1992; Houston, 1995; Detroit, 2004; San Antonio, 2005; Miami, 2006; Los Angeles Lakers, 2009; Los Angeles Lakers, 2010; Miami, 2012

6: Chicago, 1998

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