History does not always predict future events with perfect clarity, but the Golden State Warriors won’t mind having a little history on their side to finish the NBA Finals.
Especially after the last two nightmare games against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Despite letting a 3-1 series lead slip away in Games 5 and 6, the NBA’s past still says the Warriors are in good shape for Sunday’s Game 7.
Since 1984, only 13 road teams have won a Game 7 in any round of the postseason. Overall, home teams are 15-3 in Game 7s in the NBA Finals, with the Washington Bullets in 1978 representing the last team to go on the road and win an NBA title in Game 7 of the Finals (the two other teams: 1974 Boston Celtics, 1969 Celtics).
Home teams have won the last seven Game 7s, including four (Warriors, Western Conference finals; Toronto Raptors, Eastern Conference first round/semifinals; Miami Heat, Eastern Conference first round) during this postseason alone.
The last road team to win a Game 7 outside the first round? The 2009 Orlando Magic, who beat the Celtics in Boston during the Eastern Conference Finals.
Having Steph Curry, the NBA’s unanimous MVP, also helps Golden State’s cause:
Teams with the NBA MVP have won 18 straight Game 7s overall
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 17, 2016
The Cavs are fighting some daunting history.
No team has ever come back from 3-1 down to win the NBA Finals. They became just the third team to force a Game 7, joining the 1951 New York Knicks and 1966 Los Angeles Lakers.
But history won’t mean a thing if the Warriors can’t stop LeBron James or start shooting the basketball better.
The four-time MVP has scored 82 points on 32 made field goals over the last two games, while also adding 24 rebounds, 18 assists, seven steals and six blocks. He currently leads the NBA Finals in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.
Meanwhile, Curry and Klay Thompson missed a combined 46 shots in Games 5 and 6. Curry fouled out of Game 6 and was ejected from the court when he threw his mouthguard following the controversial sixth foul.
Overall, the Warriors have shot 38.2 percent from the field during the last two games, while the Cavs are shooting 52.5.
Past Game 7s seem to give the advantage to Golden State, a history-making team with an NBA-record 73 regular season wins and a 50-4 record at Oracle Arena (39-2 in the regular season, 11-2 in the postseason). But with James and the Cavs currently playing at superhuman levels, the results of history might not matter come Sunday.