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NBA Journal, May 15
by Larry Ness - 05/15/2016
Playoff Journal (May 15)
Both Miami and Toronto needed a full seven games to advance out of this year’s opening round so it’s only fitting that the lone semifinal series to go the distance would be the one featuring the Heat and Raptors (3:35 ET from Toronto on ABC). Home teams are 99-24 (.805) in NBA playoff history but the Raptors are only 2-6 all-time with a chance to eliminate an opponent and just two years ago, lost a Game 7 at home vs the Brooklyn Nets. Today’s winner will become just the 15th team to win two Game 7s in the same postseason and if the winner is Miami, the Heat will become the first team to erase a 3-2 deficit and capture consecutive series.
The Heat have won FOUR straight Game 7s and a win here would allow them to join the Lakers and Celtics as the only franchises to win five straight Game 7s. The Heat are 7-1 in their last eight games when facing elimination but note that in the team’s Game 6 win (which allowed them to stave off elimination in this series), Wade was the ONLY player of the EIGHT to see minutes in that contest who played for the Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals. A win by Miami in this contest would allow Wade to advance to a Conference Final for the SEVENTH time in his 13-year career.
Home teams are 13-8 SU and 12-9 ATS in the second round, with 12 of the 21 games going over. Those following the Zig-Zag theory are 10-7 ATS. Checking in on they postseason numbers to-date, home teams are 43-22 SU (.662) and 37-28 ATS (56.9%). Forty of the 65 games have stayed under (61.5%) and those following the Zig-Zag theory are 27-26 or minus-1.6 net games. The Raptors are favored by 4 1/2 points.
Monday’s journal available by 12 noon ET.