Process of elimination

Here’s why the Miami Heat losing game 5 at home could be a good thing.  The Heat would not have home court advantage in the Finals against either the Spurs or the Thunder. Which means that they would likely have to win more than one game on the road and possibly an elimination game.

Winning elimination games is one of those things that no one can predict until it happens. The Heat today don’t appear to be capable of doing so. Only if they win on Thursday will they appear capable. Which is why most post-game analysis is worthless with respect to future games. Unless of course you heard anyone predicting that Mickael Pietrus would hit 2 big 3′s down the stretch of game 5 on the road.

So as a Heat fan, more than analysts opinion, I’d like to know how typical it is to win elimination games in the playoffs. In addition, we’ll expand the period reviewed in cases where the teams have been together for a while.  So in our example, we’ll go back a number of years for Boston and San Antonio, but only to last year for Miami.

Look at the records below.  Nobody’s record looks all that clutch.  What’s real is the advantage of playing at home against a lower seed.  That’s not Thursday’s scenario.  I also believe that Miami’s chances in the Finals will be better if they get there this way as opposed to just winning their home games against Boston.  That’s why the game 5 loss might be a positive for the ultimate goal.

As usual we turn to Puzo’s masterpiece for the definitive outlook for the Miami Heat in game 6 on the road; Difficult not impossible.

Miami Heat – Core squad elimination games record — 0-1:

  • 2012 — TBD
  • 2011 — 0-1 — Lost game 6 at home vs Dallas – Finals

Boston Celtics – Core squad elimination games record — 4-3:

  • 2012 — 1-0 — Won game 7 at home vs Philadelphia [8th seed]
  • 2011 — 0-1 — Lost game 5 on the road vs Miami [2nd seed]
  • 2010 — 0-1 — Lost game 7 on the road vs Los Angeles – Finals
  • 2009 — 1-1 — Won game 7 at home vs Chicago [7th seed] / Lost game 7 at home vs Orlando [3rd seed]
  • 2008 — 2-0 — Won game 7 at home vs Atlanta [8th seed] / Won game 7 at home vs Cleveland [4th seed] / Won NBA championship

San Antonio Spurs – Core squad elimination games record — 5-4:

  • 2012 — 0-0 — TBD
  • 2011 — 1-1 – Won game 5 at home vs Memphis [8th seed] / Lost game 6 on the road vs Memphis
  • 2010 — 0-1 — Lost game 4 at home vs Phoenix [3rd seed]
  • 2009 –  0-1 — Lost game 5 at home vs Dallas [6th seed]
  • 2008 — 2-0 — Won game 6 at home vs New Orleans [2nd seed] / Won game 7 on the road vs New Orleans [2nd seed]
  • 2007 — No elimination games – won NBA championship
  • 2006 — 2-1 — Won game 5 at home vs Dallas [4th seed] / Won game 6 on the road vs Dallas / Lost game 7 at home vs Dallas

Oklahoma City – Core squad elimination games record — 1-2:

  • 2012 — 0-0
  • 2011 — 1-1 — Won game 7 at home vs Memphis [8th seed] / Lost game 5 on the road vs Dallas [3rd seed]
  • 2010 — 0-1 — Lost game 6 at home vs Los Angeles [1st seed]
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About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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2 Responses to Process of elimination

  1. Wichi says:

    Well, I dont know if I agree with the premise of the Heat blog but i will add/ say this:

    Right now the Heat are at, to quote Buffet( Warren) at ” their point of maximum pessimism”. Meaning no one, perhaps even them, expect a win in Beantown. So, in a weird way, this now is PRECISELY the best moment, to, in one night, rid themselves of all the demons that haunt them. To show( prove?) that they are championship caliber in all aspects, including guts, resolve, mental stability, etc…What better moment to pierce the heart of the naysayers than this? Elimination game, agaisnt America’s ( latest) darling team( defined as whoever is playing Miami), with all the tired images of Garnett spitting, Pierce collapsing like Kennedy in Dealey Plaza, Rivers spewing brilliant wisdoms in the ” wired” segments? I mean, if you wanted to reel in the Heat Haters in to their “best moment ever”, wouldnt it be this? To serenade James with ” Over rated” or Lebron sucks” chants for all of the 4rth quarter?

    So, as unlikely as a win will be, or is, IF, IF, we do it, it could kill them demons that haunt this ream in one surreal night in Boston.

  2. Agreed – getting rid of demons will come in handy in the Finals – I want James to win it at the buzzer in Boston more than I want a Heat blowout

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