Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Just like the Oklahoma City Thunder who did it the night before, the Boston Celtics last night became the first road team to win in their series against the Miami Heat, defeating the Heat 94-90 in Miami. The home teams are now 8-2 in Conference Finals games this postseason.
But what about Game 6? Can the home teams (in this case OKC and the Celtics) both win Game 6 and win their respective series? Or will the Heat and Spurs steal a game on the road as their opponents did the last two nights?
In the past five playoff seasons (2008-2012) Game 6 has not been a sure thing for home teams. There have been 39 Game Sixes in the playoffs since 2008, with the home team winning 23 and losing 16, a .590 winning percentage. This would indicate that there’s a good chance that one of the road teams will force a Game 7 in their series. Will it be the Heat or the Spurs?
Home teams have won a little over two-thirds of playoff games this postseason. Here’s a snapshot of how well the home team has done in each round of the playoffs this year.
2012 NBA Playoffs
Conference Finals: 8-2 .800
Conference Semifinals: 14-8 .636
Conference First Round: 29-15 .659
2012 Playoffs: 51-25 .671
For comparison, here’s a look at the home record in the last four playoff seasons.
2011: 53-28 .654
2010: 55-27 .670
2009: 57-28 .671
2008: 64-22 .744
Over the past five years (2008-2012), there have been 74 playoffs series and 410 games. The home teams has won 280 of those games, a .683 winning percentage. Here’s a look at how the home-court advantage played out in each stage of the playoffs (conference first round, conference semifinals, conference finals and NBA finals) over those 410 games.
Playoff Round, Home Team win-loss record & percentage
Western Conference First Round, 76-34 .691
Eastern Conference First Round, 78-33 .703
Conference First Round total, 154-67 .697
Western Conference Semifinals, 37-16 .698
Eastern Conference Semifinals, 37-20 .649
Conference Semifinals total 74-36 .673
Western Conference Finals, 18-9 .667
Eastern Conference Finals, 18-9, 667
Conference Finals totals, 36-19 .655
NBA Finals, 16-8 .667
Note: If you’re looking ahead to a potential Game 7 in either series, the home team has won 10 and lost three (.769 winning percentage) in Game Sevens the past five years.
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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 NHL Conference Finals begin Sunday as the Los Angeles Kings travel to Phoenix to take on the Coyotes. The other Conference Final will begin on Monday after the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals play Game Seven on Saturday in their series to see who advances to face the New Jersey Devils.
Following are six stats you might not know about the NHL Conference Finals since 1980 (the last 31 years).
1. In the first two games of the Conference Finals since 1980, 30 of them had one of the teams take a 2-0 lead. In the other 32 series, the teams split the first two games.
2. In the 30 series where a team took a 2-0 lead, that team won the Conference Finals 28 times. The last team to fall behind two games to none in the Conference Finals and win that series was in 1991 when the Pittsburgh Penguins lost the first two games against the Boston Bruins and then won four straight to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.
3. In the 32 series that started out with the teams splitting the first two games, there was no advantage by winning either Game One or Game Two of the series. The eventual series winner won Game One 16 times; the eventual series winner won Game Two 16 times.
4. When the series started out 1-1, the team that won Game Three went on to win the series in 27 of the 32 series. From 1980-1999, the team that won Game Three after the series was tied at 1-1 won 21 of the 22 series. In the 10 Conference Finals that were tied at 1-1 since 2000, the team that won Game Three has won the series six times and lost the series four times.
5. Of the 62 Conference Finals played since 1980, 10 lasted only four games. The series went five games in 20 series; six games in 19 series; and the series went the full seven games in 13 series.
6. There have been 59 overtime games played in the Conference Finals since 1980. The home team has won 29 and lost 30. The home team has won five of the last five overtime games in the Conference Finals.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp