Game 7 of the Conference Semifinals series between the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics is the 138th in NBA history. Of the previous 137 Game 7s, the higher seed has a record of 108-29 (78.8%).
Raptors-Celtics, the first-ever postseason meeting between both franchises is the third Game 7 played at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Orlando, FL. For the Game 7s in the bubble, the higher seeds are 2-0.
If the higher-seeded team from Toronto wins this one, they'll advance to a second consecutive Conference Finals appearance and the third in five years. Additionally, it would only be the 28th time (out of 396 scenarios) in NBA history that a team wins a series despite trailing 0-2.
If the C's win, they'll make it to their third Conference Finals in four years. That said, let's take a quick look at how both franchises have fared in Game 7s in the past:
- This is the Raptors' sixth Game 7 in franchise history. In the previous five, they hold a 3-2 record.
- Their most recent winner-take-all contest was against the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2019 Conference Semifinals, which they won courtesy of Kawhi Leonard's buzzer-beater.
- Kyle Lowry (5), Marc Gasol (4), Serge Ibaka (4), Norman Powell (3) have each appeared in multiple Game 7s. On the flip side, the Raptors also have three starters who have only played in one or no Game 7s at all - Fred VanVleet (1), Pascal Siakam (1), OG Anunoby (0).
- This is the second Game 7 of Nick Nurse's head coaching career. He won his previous one against Philly last year.
- This is the Celtics' 33rd Game 7 in franchise history. They hold a 23-9 record in the previous 32 games.
- Their most recent Game 7 was against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Conference Finals of the 2018 Playoffs. Their most recent Game 7 win came against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the 2018 playoffs.
- Key rotations players like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart were a part of both the aforementioned Game 7s.
- Twice in their franchise history, the Celtics have won Game 7 of a series to cap-off a 3-1 series comeback - 1968, 1981. They are one of only two franchises to have achieved this feat twice.
- On this squad, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart are most experienced in Game 7s having featured in three. Jayson Tatum has featured in two while Walker has one appearance in 2016 with the Charlotte Hornets. The rest are Game 7 rookies, including key rotation players Daniel Theis, Brad Wanamaker, and Robert Williams.
- This is the fourth Game 7 of Brad Steven's coaching career. He holds a 2-1 record in the previous three.
What to expect?
Four of the six games of this series have been decided by a combined margin of 14 points. Will we see yet another grind-out, low-scoring Game 7 in the bubble or will the Celtics find their touch and make Game 7 a one-sided affair like they did in Games 1 & 5?
According to FiveThirtyEight's NBA Predictions model, the Celtics are 63% favourites to win Game 7. Both teams will take the floor for the one win-or-go-home game on Saturday, September 12th at 6:30 a.m. IST.
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