With the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks going Saturday and the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks coming Sunday, let's go over some basic Game 7 stats just to give you an idea of what you can expect:
- Home teams have a record of 109-26 in Game 7s. They win 78.5 percent of the time.
- Game 7s tend to be low scoring. Prior to the first-round matchup between the Clippers and Mavericks, the previous 11 Game 7s came in under 210 total points.
- All four Eastern Conference teams have a losing record in Game 7s historically. The Bucks are 2-10, the Nets are 1-2, the Hawks are 4-9 and the 76ers are 6-10.
- Of the six Nets to have played major minutes in Game 6, only Joe Harris has never played in a Game 7. Pat Connaughton is the only major Buck never to have played in a Game 7. Tyrese Maxey, Shake Milton and Matisse Thybulle are all Game 7 newbies, and while Furkan Korkmaz has been on a team that has played in a Game 7, he didn't participate himself. The team with the most first-timers in a Game 7, though, is the Hawks. Clint Capela, Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari are their only rotation players with Game 7 experience.
There's no set formula for winning a Game 7. They are tense and usually fairly close. With that in mind, here are Saturday's picks for the Nets and Bucks.
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All lines via William Hill Sportsbook
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets
The low-scoring environment of a Game 7 should favor the Bucks because they're far more dangerous in transition than the Nets with a hobbled James Harden. Milwaukee scored 26 fast break points in Game 6 to only four for Brooklyn. If both sides are missing shots but the Bucks are better equipped to turn those misses into points, they should have the advantage here. Kevin Durant won't make it easy on them, but remember, he needed a historic 49-point performance to win the Nets Game 5. He could do that again, but it shouldn't be considered likely. Milwaukee has a talent advantage right now, and that makes it the right pick here. The pick: Bucks +1
If we're expecting a lot of missed shots, we should be expecting inflated rebounding totals. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 17 rebounds in Game 5, and not coincidentally, the Bucks held the Nets below 90 points in the process. The Bucks want Giannis specifically grabbing rebounds because it helps trigger fast breaks. Expect him to have a big night on the boards in Game 7. The pick: Antetokounmpo over 14.5 rebounds
Jrue Holiday scored 21 points in Game 6, topping 20 for the first time in this series. In the process, he shot 1 of 10 from behind the arc. If this line were a bit lower, I'd consider the over, but when a player tops 20.5 points only once out of six games, odds are, it just isn't his series. The pick: Holiday under 20.5 points