The NBA will tie a record with five Game 7s this weekend – the record for Game 7s in an entire postseason.
It’s a good weekend to be an NBA fan.
To state the obvious, Game 7s are awesome.
Everyone recognizes the win-or-go-home pressure both teams face. Alone, that creates an incredible dynamic.
But don’t overlook that these teams have already played each other six times, and those shared quarters often leads to some mutual disdain. Even if series were best-of-21, tensions would be high by Game 7.
So enjoy the slate: Hawks-Pacers, Grizzlies-Thunder and Warriors-Clippers on Saturday and Nets-Raptors and Mavericks-Spurs on Sunday.
The 2014 playoffs are only one Game 7 from breaking the all-time high for Game 7s in a postseason.
There were also five Game 7s in 1994, even though none were possible in the first round.
With the NBA expanding to a 15-series playoff format in 1984 and bumping the first round from best-of-five in 2003, there there have never been more best-of-seven series. So, the rules in the last 12 years have allowed more opportunities for Game 7s.
But who cares? We get more Game 7s, and that’s awesome.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.