Who ya got in Game 7 today? If you don’t live in Miami or Toronto, the answer seems utterly moot: The amply rested Cavaliers, having backstroked through the first two rounds of the NBA playoffs, are going to be the overwhelming favorites in the conference finals. Meanwhile the Heat and the Raptors are about to finish their second seven-game series, and having played three OTs in this series already, are going to be LeBron fodder.
Cleveland fans might enjoy seeing the warm-dish revenge of beating the Heat to go to the Finals. But of course Cleveland fans have never gotten what they want, and today won’t be any different, if a sorta-pattern noticed by Redditor KareemAbuJafar holds re: Toronto’s first- and second-round series. Against the Pacers and so far against the Heat, the Raptors have indeed done the following:
Game 1: Led at the half, gave up 27 in the third quarter, lost.
Game 2: Led at the half, gave up 21 in the fourth quarter, won.
Game 3: Led at the half, won the fourth quarter by 4 points, won.
Game 4: Trailed at the half, lost the fourth quarter by 2 points, lost.
Game 5: DeMar DeRozan notched 34 points, 2 assists, 1 turnover; Raps won.
Game 6: Raps scored 44 in first half and 19 in the fourth quarter, lost.
Game 7: TBD.
Against the Pacers in Game 7, of course, the Raptors won, and there were many numbers generated across the box score that will correspond to something in the box score for that game. Maybe the Raptors will once again win after scoring the perfectly conventional amount 50 points in the first half, or after Kyle Lowry shoots 5-for-14. (What they’re unlikely to do is win while scoring 11 in the fourth.) Or maybe we look at the far more relevant number—Raptors minus 4.5—and say, yeah, the East this year is gonna end with Drake giving out dewy-eyed courtside hugs to the Cavs bench after Cleveland finishes off the sweep in TO.