The History of Overtime in the NBA Playoffs
Posted by Andrew McKillop on May 25, 2011
For the first time ever there were overtime games on consecutive nights in the NBA conference finals. Also interesting to note is that when the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder went into overtime, it marked the 200th time an NBA playoff game went into overtime. I decided now more than ever it would be a good time to analyze the history of overtime in the NBA playoffs.
My assumption about overtime was that the team that pulled away with the victory was more likely to win the next game in the series, based off of the momentum they gained. It turned out my assumption was wrong. In the 158 applicable cases (series deciding games not included), the winning team in overtime is 60-98 (.380 W Pct) in the series next game. However the numbers show that an overtime victory, can statistically give a team a slight boost when it comes to winning the series; with 58% of overtime winners going on to win the series (72% since 2005).
Here are some more interesting statistics/records on overtime in the NBA playoffs:
Only 35 overtime games have gone into multiple overtime periods (17%).
The average margin of victory in an NBA playoff overtime game is 4.5 points. On 32 occasions the margin of victory was 1 point (happened last in 2009 – Boston vs. Chicago 128-127). The greatest margin of victory in the playoffs is 11 points. Five teams are tied for the record.
Home court advantage doesn’t play much of a role in terms of who wins playoff overtime games. The home team has a record of 103-98 (.512 W Pct) in playoff overtime games.
Below is a breakdown of which rounds have hosted the most playoff overtime games.
|Conf Semi Finals||76||38%|
Not surprisingly this week’s playoff overtime games occurred in game four. Game four is the most common point in a series to see a game go into overtime.
Listed below are the records of NBA franchises in playoff overtime games:
|Team||OT Games||W||L||W Pct||Last OT W