Who do you want on your team in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals? It’s as simple as that. The playoffs can boil down to the most basic of decisions at this stage. Pure ones and zeroes. This or that? Paul Pierce or Dwyane Wade? After forcing the return to Miami, the Heat take on the Celtics on Saturday. It should be another incredible game in this series, but some of the Heat and Celtics’ biggest stars have been more productive than others in Game 7s in their careers. Here’s who they are.
For LeBron James, who just had a historic, Wilt Chamberlain-esque night in Game 6, it will be his second time facing the Celtics in a Game 7 after May 18, 2008. But he’s on the short end with only two 7s in his career. Ray Allen has the most, with nine. Before Saturday’s matchup in Miami, here are the most valuable Game 7 performers. For reference, all averages are points/rebounds/assists/turnovers.
6. Rajon Rondo. Game 7 averages: 11.1 ppg/6.7 rpg/9.1 apg/2.0 tpg. For still such a relatively young player, Rondo has played in six Game 7s in his career. The good news is they’ve all become progressively better. The bad news is that turnovers are a common trend among them. He’s had games of four and three TOs, while his points have increased almost game to game as his role in the C’s offense mirrors that. Three of his six have been at least double doubles.
His last game, against Philly, was an 18 point, 10 assist, 10 board and seven turnover night that would be hailed as a true masterpiece if not for the turnovers. The takeaway from that night, however, wasn’t the TOs, but his three to put Boston up 10 with just more than 2 minutes to go and essentially ice the game.
5. Dwyane Wade. Game 7s: 21.5/3.5/5.5/4.0. Wade is a two-time Game 7 player whose 31-point performance in a loss to Atlanta in 2009 was his last. His only other game was a rookie-year performance in 2004. He’s a remarkable talent outside of Game 7s but there’s just not enough history there. Ray Allen may not have the averages Wade does, but the consistency outweighs it.