Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Last night the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the San Antonio Spurs 109-103 and tied their Western Conference Finals series at 2-2. So here’s the big question, what’s gonna happen in Game 5 of that series on Monday night?
To get an idea of what might transpire, let’s take a look at the last 25 NBA playoff games where the series was tied at 2-2. We discover that:
* The home team won Game 5 in 20 of those 25 contests.
* The series ended with the Game 5 winner also winning Game 6 in 14 series.
* The series went to a Game Seven 11 times. The home team won Game 7 in nine of those 11 games.
* The team that won Game 5 also won Game 7 seven times.
Here’s a look at those five series where the team winning the series was not the home team in Game 5
NBA Finals, 2010, L.A. Lakers over the Boston Celtics: In the 2-3-2 finals format, the home team Celtics won Game 5. The series then shifted to Los Angeles for Game 6 and Game 7 where the Lakers won both contests.
Eastern Conference Semifinals, 2010, Boston Celtics over the Cleveland Cavaliers: Tied at two games apiece, the visiting Celtics clobbered the Cavs 120-88 in Game 5 in Cleveland. The Celtics then wrapped the series in Game 6 with a 94-85 victory.
Eastern Conference First Round, 2010, Atlanta Hawks over the Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks stole Game 5 in Atlanta with a 91-87 win and headed home for Game 6 hoping to close out the series. The Bucks lost Game 6 to the visiting Hawks 83-69. The Hawks won the series with a 21-point win at home in Game 7.
Eastern Conference Semifinals, 2009, Orlando Magic over the Boston Celtics: The home team Celtics won Game 5 then lost Game 6 in Orlando and lost the series when they could not close out the Magic at home. The Magic won 101-82 in Game 7 in Boston.
Western Conference Semifinals, 2008, San Antonio over the New Orleans Hornets: The Hornets defeated the Spurs at home in Game 5, but the Spurs won the series by winning Game 6 at home, 99-80 and then winning 91-82 in New Orleans.
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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers
The Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers exorcised some serious NBA playoff demons with their first-round series wins in this year’s playoffs. The 76ers had not won a playoff series since 2003 when they defeated the New Orleans Hornets in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. For the Pacers, their last playoff series win was in 2005. The Clippers last won a playoff series in 2006 when they ousted the Denver Nuggets in the first round.
Here’s a look at which teams now have the longest droughts for winning a playoff series.
Last year they won a playoff series, team(s)
2000: New York Knicks, Portland
2001: Milwaukee, Toronto
2004: Minnesota, Sacramento
2005: Charlotte (the Bobcats have not won a playoff series since they entered the NBA in 2004-05)
2007: Golden State, New Jersey Nets
2008: Detroit, New Orleans
2009: Denver, Houston
2010: Cleveland, Orlando, Phoenix, Utah
2011: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Memphis
Of the eight remaining teams in the playoffs, here’s a look at the last time they advanced to the conference finals, the last year they played in the NBA finals, and the last year they won an NBA title.
Team, last year in conference finals, last year in NBA finals, last NBA title
Boston: 2010… 2010… 2008
Indiana: 2004… 2000… Never
Los Angeles Clippers: Never… Never… Never
Los Angeles Lakers: 2010… 2010… 2010
Miami: 2011… 2011… 2006
Oklahoma City: 2011… 1996 (as Seattle)… 1979 (as Seattle)
Philadelphia: 2001… 2001… 1983
San Antonio: 2008… 2008… 2007
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