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History lesson: What can we design for Warriors-Thunder Game 7?

1:10 PM ET

It’s no warn that a Oklahoma City Thunder are underdogs streamer into Monday’s Game 7 of a Western Conference finals. Having unsuccessful to come by on their initial dual chances to tighten out their array with a Golden State Warriors, a Thunder are behind in a Bay Area in an try to strech their initial NBA Finals given their lass excursion in 2012.

By any measure, a Thunder will need to overcome a odds. FiveThirtyEight’s model pegs a Thunder’s chances of winning Game 7 during 32 percent, while ESPN’s Basketball Power Index has them during 30 percent.

The consensus Vegas odds, meanwhile, are even reduction free to Oklahoma City, for distinct reasons: They engage humans. After adjusting for a vig, a initial Thunder moneyline pragmatic that they had usually a 19 percent possibility of pulling out a series-decider in Oakland. That array continues to rise, and it’s strike 26 percent, yet it’s still next a expectations of empirically subsequent models.

One reason since that competence be a box is that a models don’t have eyes to see what happened to a Thunder in Game 6. The box measure says a Thunder mislaid by 7 during home on Saturday, yet that fails to tell a story we all saw: Oklahoma City collapsed during a final few mins of a game, with a offense exploding into a writhing mass of hero-ball and turnovers. The Thunder led for a immeasurable infancy of a competition and had a 90 percent win outlook with 5 mins to go, usually to tumble to pieces during what competence finish adult being Kevin Durant‘s final home diversion in Oklahoma City.

The flip side of that, of course, is that an algorithm competence really good be right to provide OKC’s detriment in Game 6 as one of many information points. The Thunder mislaid a diversion they substantially should have won, yet how many Oklahoma City fans would have been gay before this array if we told them they would get to see a Game 7? Doesn’t what Russell Westbrook Co. did to a Warriors in Games 3 and 4 — or even a immeasurable infancy of Game 6 — count as many as what happened during a final few catastrophic mins of Saturday’s loss?

I wanted to figure out if there’s some law to a thought that teams that blow a lead late with a possibility to tighten out a array in Game 6 are too emotionally distraught or tired to win a indirect Game 7. Obviously, we can’t do that by looking during a single-elimination playoffs of football. Hockey goal-by-goal information doesn’t widen behind distant enough, as distant as we can tell, for inclusion. we did go back, though, and demeanour during each seven-game ball and basketball array by 1970 to try and find identical Game 6s to a one a Thunder lost.

And while Durant and Westbrook competence be dissapoint over floating their 3-1 lead, a law is that once Game 7 starts, that all goes away. The story will turn whatever a outcome dictates. If a Warriors get out to a large lead early and win comfortably, as many expect, a story will be that they ripped Oklahoma City’s hearts out in Game 6 and a Thunder never recovered.

And if a Thunder do a same thing, we’ll hear about how a Warriors emotionally tired themselves with that Game 6 quip and had zero left in a tank. And if it’s a tighten game, we’ll omit both of those stories and speak about whoever comes adult with a game’s biggest shot or many noted mistake.

History doesn’t tell us that a Thunder are expected to lift a upset, yet it also doesn’t tell us that a Warriors are going to run them off of a building since of what happened Saturday night. It tells us that we have no thought about what’s going to occur — that a Thunder’s descent transformation and a Warriors’ lineup decisions and a opposite of implausible shooters are some-more critical than a romantic fee of a tough playoff loss. That’s earnest for both Thunder fans and neutrals looking for a good Game 7 tonight.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2016/story/_/id/15831053/nba-playoffs-2016-history-reveal-game-7-thunder-warriors