Apr 23 2014, 2:25pm CDT | by Forbes
Only one road team in the NBA Playoffs was able return home with a 2-0 series lead for Game 3, the Washington Wizards. The Portland Trail Blazers have a chance to match that feat against the Houston Rockets, though Basketball-Reference gives the Rockets a 62% chance of winning Game 2 in Houston. As the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, Washington had to play the first two games of their series at the United Center against the Chicago Bulls. After outscoring the Bulls an average 101.5-96 for the first two games, the Wizards will return home to the Verizon Center with skyrocketing secondary market prices.
Wizards tickets/> have increased 88% in price on the secondary market over the past week and are up 108.1% since the end of the regular season. In just the past three days there has been a significant shift for the prices at the Verizon Center. Before the start of Game 1 on April 20, the average price for Washington home games in the first round was $236.42. The morning after Game 2, prices are now up 24.2% to $293.65./>
Washington has also topped the Toronto Raptors and now own the highest playoff premium over their regular season average price at 339.58%. Even with the high average price, the premium for the get-in price is a relatively small 6.19% on the secondary market. Meanwhile, Bulls playoff tickets have dropped 9.6% over the past two days in Chicago. The Bulls will have to win at least one game in Washington in order to play another game in the United Center.
The fans in Washington seem to be taking advantage from this rare playoff success by the Wizards. The team hasn’t been to the playoffs since the 2007-08 season and hasn’t won a first round series since 2004-05, also against the Bulls. Before that, the last time the Wizards advanced past the opening round was in 1981-82. In the following 31 seasons, this year not included, Washington advanced to the playoffs in just 10 seasons and lost in the first round in nine of them. The 1982 playoffs were also the last time Washington completed a sweep of an opponent, though back then they only needed to win two games in the first round to advance past the New Jersey Nets in a best-of-three series.
Six playoff teams still have an average price higher than the price in Washington, mostly due to the fact the Wizards had the second lowest regular season average of any playoff team. Though if a second round match-up shows up on the Wizards schedule for the first time in nine seasons, there’s no doubt prices will continue to rise at the Verizon Center.
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