Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.
What stats could play a major role in tonight’s game? Over the past 25 NBA seasons there have been 12 Game Sevens in the conference finals. Following is a look at 10 stats that shaped the past conference finals Game 7s since 1987.
(Conference Finals Game 7= CFG7)
2. The team that won Game 6 in the series: The team that won Game 6 in the series went on to win Game 7 in only three of the 12 CFG7s since 1987.
3. Score: The average margin of victory has been just under 10 points in the last 12 CFG7s. In seven of the 12 games the margin of victory was six points or less. In the other five games, the teams won by 13 or more points. Five of the last six CFG7 games have been decided by six points or less.
4. Halftime Lead: The team that won Game 7 was leading at half in eight of the 12 games.
5. Lead going into the 4th quarter: The team that won Game 7 was leading going into the fourth quarter in eight of the 12 games.
6. Bench Scoring: Not a factor in Game 7s. Only two of the 12 teams that won Game 7 saw their bench outscore their opponents reserves in the game. What was significant was that the team whose starting five outscored the other team’s starting five won 11 of the 12 games.
7. Rebounding: The team that won Game 7 out-rebounded their opponents in 10 of the 12 games and tied for rebound totals in one game.
8. Turnovers: The winning team had fewer turnovers in six of the 12 games; in two games the two teams had the same number of turnovers.
9. Assists: The winning team had more assists in seven of the 12 games; in one game the two teams had the same number of assists. While the turnover and assist totals didn’t seem to make a significant difference, if you figure out the assist-to-turnover ratio, an interesting stat develops. The team that had a higher assist-to-turnover ratio in the 12 CFG7 games won 10 and lost only two.
10. Three-point field goals made: The team that made more three-point shots in the game won six times; the two teams had the same number of three-point shots made in three games.
Did you know? Five teams that won Game 7 of the Conference Final since 1987 won the NBA title that season. Seven of the teams that won Game 7 of the Conference Finals lost the NBA Finals that year.
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