NBA 7 game playoff series where every game was won by the road team?

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Cleveland Cavaliers (58-25) Toronto Raptors (56-27) Start of 1st Quarter (12:00) Jump Ball Biyombo vs Thompson (Scola gains possession) 11:46
[TOR 2-0] Lowry Driving Layup Shot: Made (2 PTS) Irving Foul: Shooting (1 PF) (1 FTA) (J Phillips) 11:46 11:46
[TOR 3-0] Lowry Free Throw 1 of 1 (3 PTS) Irving Pullup Jump shot: Missed 11:33 11:32 Biyombo Rebound (Off:0 Def:1) 11:23 DeRozan Pullup Jump shot: Missed Irving Rebound (Off:0 Def:1) 11:22 Love 3pt Shot: Made (3 PTS) Assist: Irving (1 AST) 11:16
[CLE 3-3] 10:55 Carroll Turnover : Lost Ball (1 TO) Steal:Irving (1 ST) James Running Layup Shot: Made (2 PTS) Assist: Irving (2 AST) 10:50
[CLE 5-3] 10:31...
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The Playoffs are about to begin and so I thought it was appropriate to break out some nice topical mathematical models.

Previously, I wrote a series of pieces on how to build a probability model for a seven game playoff series using the Binomial theorem (see here, here and here).

The basics of the model are below in table form:

Now this is a little complicated but we can all understand a simple table. As before please note I capped out win probabilities at no better than 90% and no worse than 10%. This was done as the best team ever record wise still managed to lose 9 of 82 games (and the worst team ever still won 11 of 82):

For team A and team B playing in a seven game playoff series ,with A being the higher seed first you need to know the win probability margin of team A beating team B at a neutral site.How you work this out is up to you but the simplest possible model would be using winning percentage. For example,

Team A: .750...

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The NBA Playoffs is one of the most exciting times of the year. Unlike the regular season when teams take nights off, every game matters.

In order to win the NBA Finals, teams must eliminate the opposition in the best of seven series. Today I’m going to focus my attention on the rare instances a series goes the distance.

As most of you are aware, Handicapping the NBA is no easy task. Any edge you can get is worth taking into account.

I went back and researched every Game 7 in the NBA postseason going back to the 2002-03 season. Here’s a look at the results.

Overall Record (Home Team)

Straight Up

The home team in Game 7 of an NBA playoffs series is 30-9 (76.9%) straight up in the last 39 games. It is not overly shocking to see such a favorable advantage for these teams for several reasons.

The playoffs consist of the eight best teams in each conference. One thing that most of these teams have in common is they won the majority of...

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry raised seven fingers as he departed the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Sunday, a celebratory tribute to the Warriors’ final step in digging out of a 3-1 deficit against the Thunder in the Western Conference finals. After a thrilling Game 6 that saw record-setting shooting from Klay Thompson and mystifying late-game mistakes by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the defending champions return home to Oracle needing just one win to secure a rematch with the Cavaliers in the Finals.

“Game 5 was a battle, this was a war,” Draymond Green said after Game 6 was in the books. So what does that make Game 7? A nuclear war? An intergalactic clash? Hunger Games: Oakland?

This has been an epic West finals, even without its final chapter written. There have, already, been plenty of storylines that will stand the test of time: Curry’s Game 2 burst,...

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It's no surprise that the Oklahoma City Thunder are underdogs heading into Monday's Game 7 of the Western Conference finals. Having failed to come through on their first two chances to close out their series with the Golden State Warriors, the Thunder are back in the Bay Area in an attempt to reach their first NBA Finals since their maiden voyage in 2012.

By any measure, the Thunder will need to overcome the odds. FiveThirtyEight's model pegs the Thunder's chances of winning Game 7 at 32 percent, while ESPN's Basketball Power Index has them at 30 percent.

The consensus Vegas odds, meanwhile, are even less charitable to Oklahoma City, for understandable reasons: They involve humans. After adjusting for the vig, the initial Thunder moneyline implied that they had just a 19 percent chance of pulling out a series-decider in Oakland. That number continues to rise, and it's hit 26 percent, but it's still below the expectations of empirically derived models.

One...

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You don’t have to be a Cleveland Cavaliers fan to think the Cavs might have just made the most improbable comeback ever in a seven-game playoff series. They not only rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals — something no other team had ever done — they beat the team that set the single-season record for victories this season. And they had to win two of those three games on the Warriors’ home court. Is it the greatest comeback ever? It’s certainly on a very short list of incredible comebacks that nobody could have predicted … except die-hard fans and the players who refused to quit.

5. Kansas City Royals (1985 World Series)

How hard is it to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a championship? Before Cleveland beat Golden State to win the 2016 NBA title, the Royals were the last to accomplish the feat in a U.S. professional sport, 31 years earlier. It’s happened only once in the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals, 75 years ago.

St. Louis won an MLB-high 101 games in...

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The two sweetest words in all of sports: Game Seven. The Warriors and Cavaliers are headed for Game 7 Sunday in Oakland after the Cavaliers won Game 6 to storm back after being down 3-1 in the NBA Finals and even the series. LeBron James has been otherworldly, the Warriors have look rattled, but history is very much on Golden State's side.

Here's an early look at seven things to know about Game 7.

1. Road teams have severe disadvantage

Teams are 15-3 all-time at home in Game 7's of the Finals, and the road team has not won since 1978. Teams are also 101-24 all-time in a playoff Game 7 at home. So no, the odds are not in the Cavaliers favor.

However, the Cavs are already in the process of making history. No team has ever come back from down 3-1, and no team had ever won Game 6 after losing Games 1,2 and 4 headed into Thursday night. None of those teams that lost on the road ever had LeBron James, either.

But often times, Game 7's come down...

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Every NBA Finals Game 7 has a story.

Whether it’s the beginning or the end of a dynasty, a legendary player’s one last stab at greatness, or an obscure player stepping up at a crucial time, there’s something at stake in every Finals. But the spotlight is even bigger in Game 7. We remember who wins and who loses. Fair or not, it affects how we think about these teams and their players for years to come.

There have been 18 previous Game 7s in NBA Finals. Here’s what was on the line for each of them:

1951: Royals 79, Knicks 75 1952: Lakers 82, Knicks 65 1954: Lakers 87, Nationals 80 1955: Nationals 92, Pistons 91

Four of the first six seasons of the new unified NBA featured a Game 7 in the Finals.

The Minneapolis Lakers, led by bespectacled big man George Mikan, were the dominant team of their day, winning six championships in seven years. Their Game 7 victories in 1952 and 1954 solidified that dynasty. Mikan’s 22 points and 19 rebounds were too much for...

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Oklahoma City Thunder 121, Denver Nuggets 106

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook tallied his 17th triple-double of the season to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 121-106 victory over the Denver Nuggets Saturday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Westbrook racked up 32 points, 17 rebounds and 11 assists. That included going 7 of 12 from 3-point range.

Thunder center Steven Adams added 16 points and four blocked shots. Victor Oladipo scored 15 points on 7 of 19 shooting to help Oklahoma City improve to 22-16.

Wilson Chandler came off the bench to pace the Nuggets with 24 points. However, he scored only five in the second half. Will Barton scored 21 on 6 of 11 shooting as Denver dropped to 14-23.

It was the fifth straight game Denver has allowed an opponent to score 120 or more points. All have been losses.

Utah Jazz 94, Minnesota Timberwolves 92

MINNEAPOLIS -- Utah rallied from a double-digit deficit to top Minnesota.

...

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The NBA has never really gotten the first round of its playoff structure right. Those series were in a best-of-three format as recently as 1983, and then the NBA expanded the first round to a best-of-five approach the following year and kept that in place until 2003, when the league moved to best-of-seven for all playoff series. The reason is pretty obvious: More playoff games mean more revenue. Ask NBA fans and you’ll still hear a fair number wish for the best-of-five format; shorter series lend themselves to a greater likelihood of upsets and more competitive, intense games. For every exciting first-round series that requires the full seven games, there seems to be one where the extra game is a waste of time. The seven-game series between the Bulls and Nets last season was worth the effort, but did we really need to see the Heat beat the Bucks four straight times to know Miami was the team that should move on?

Well, what if there were a way to get the best of both worlds?...

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Looking Back at the NBA in Mexico Over the Years: 25th Anniversary
As we look forward to the games on January 12th and 14th when the Phoenix Suns take on the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs respectively, let's take a look back at some of the best sights and sounds from some of those games that Mexico has hosted over the years. Looking Back at the NBA in Mexico Over the Years: 2000
Back in October of 2000, the Washington Wizards traveled to Mexico City to take on the Philadelphia 76'ers. Prior to the game, Wizard teammates Rip Hamilton and Felipe Lopez took us on an all-access tour of the city Looking Back at the NBA in Mexico Over the Years: 1997
The NBA regular season came to Mexico in 1997, and two Texas rivals put on a show when the Rockets took on the Mavericks. Charles Barkley scored 19 points and led Houston to the 108-106 victory over Dallas in front of a packed Palacio de los Deportes. Looking Back at the NBA in Mexico Over the Years: 1996
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Austin Rivers receives a lot of hate and comments about “only playing because of his dad,” but his journey to the NBA and where he is now with the LA Clippers is impressive.

Dec 30, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; LA Clippers guard Austin Rivers (25) talks to his father and head coach Doc Rivers during a time out in the second half of the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. Clippers win 122-117. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Rivers isn’t the perfect basketball player, but he certainly isn’t alone in that. Nobody on the planet can be classed as the “perfect” basketball player, everyone has their flaws (even MJ and LeBron), its part of being a human.

But the notion that Rivers is only in the league because he happens to be related to Head Coach Doc Rivers, is ridiculous.

Sure, it helps if you have a coach who has a real confidence in your ability and wants to see you succeed in the sport on both a personal and...

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The game is generally played at the site of the team holding the home advantage across the series.

The nature of a best-of-seven series requires that the series be tied at 3 games apiece going into Game Seven, such that either team can take the series (advancing further in the playoffs or winning the championship) by winning the game. Because of this decisive nature, game sevens add an element of drama to their sports.

Aside from North American sports leagues, game sevens are also a fixture in many other sports around the world, mostly in baseball, basketball, and ice hockey leagues. Most codes of football do not employ a best-of-seven series (or any best-of-x series in general), hence game sevens are not played in those leagues.

Some playoff rounds (such as MLB's current Division Series) are played in a best of five format, such that Game Five has similar qualities to those described above, though the suspense and drama have less time to build in a shorter...

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Every team in the NBA playoffs would love to hold the Larry O'Brien Trophy in June. But let's face it: In a league where 32 games separated the top seed from the 8-seed in the West, and where the top seed was 13 games better than the 8-seed in the East, some teams aren't necessarily playing for the same thing.

With that in mind, we asked our 16 writers to answer: What does first-round success look like for each team in the 2016 playoffs?

Western Conference

Golden State Warriors
(No. 1 seed)

First-round success is five games or fewer. Although the 73-win Warriors feel pinched by getting Game 1 on Saturday (as opposed to a Sunday spot they assumed was waiting), they traditionally have dominated the Rockets. Don't be surprised, though, if Houston peels a game or two off this series, as the Warriors tend to stumble a bit when complacent. If they're locked in, this series should be a sweep. Six games is a crime, and five games is forgivable. --...

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Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

This is what they'll be playing for on Wednesday night.

There are so many storylines for Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Let's take a look at the ones that relate to the history of Game 7s in this round.

Home-Court Advantage

The last team to win Game 7 of an NBA Finals on the road was the 1978 Washington Bullets, who upset the Seattle SuperSonics in Seattle, 105-99. Six Bullets scored in double figures that game, which may best be remembered for the shooting struggles of future Hall-of-Famer Dennis Johnson, who went 0-for-14 from the field.

There have been five Game 7s since, four of which came after the NBA went to the 2-3-2 format in 1985. Each of the previous five was won by the home team, but was reasonably close. The average margin of victory of those five games was six points.

In the last 30 postseasons, home teams are a combined 17-2 in Game 7s in the Conference Finals and NBA Finals.

The two losses were...

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