360° Coverage : NBA Playoffs: What Home Court Advantage?

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NBA Playoffs: What Home Court Advantage?

May 17 2014, 8:49am CDT | by

After the Los Angeles Clippers lost a very tough Game 5 of their playoff series on the road to the Oklahoma City Thunder the other night, thanks in part to some brutal, late-game officiating, you...

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10 weeks ago

NBA Playoffs: What Home Court Advantage?

May 17 2014, 8:49am CDT | by

After the Los Angeles Clippers lost a very tough Game 5 of their playoff series on the road to the Oklahoma City Thunder the other night, thanks in part to some brutal, late-game officiating, you might have figured they’d be fired up enough to come back strong at home in Game 6 and tie up the series.

And in fact, with the Staples Center crowd energized, the Clippers did get off to a big early lead. Alas, the Staples Center, while it’s a great arena with lots of amenities, doesn’t really hold the noise the way the Clippers’ old home, the Los Angeles Sports Arena, did (it’s a shame the Clippers were rarely good when they played there). The Thunder fought back and wrapped up the series, taking two of three in L.A. in the process. The Clippers also got a road win in the series, making for an overall 3-3 split for the home teams.

You’ve seen it shape up this way all over the playoffs. The Washington Wizards, after dropping two straight at home to Indiana, won big at Indianapolis to stay alive in Game 5, only to drop yet another at home to lose in six games, exactly one of which was won by a home team – the Pacers in Game 2. The Wizards had the same type of series in their first round win over Chicago, splitting two at home while winning all three road games to take the series in five.

The first two rounds of the NBA playoffs are in the books, 72 games in all. Home teams have won 37 and lost 35. In only four of 12 series did home teams win more games than they lost – they went .500 or below in the other eight series. Two decades ago, through the first two rounds of the 1994 NBA playoffs, home teams went 41-17, on their way to a final mark of 55-22. Ten of the 12 series in the first two rounds resulted in winning records for home teams; by the time the Rockets beat the Knicks for the title, it was 13 of 15. And it’s not just the playoffs. In the 1993-94 regular season, home teams compiled a .612 winning percentage, with 10 of 27 teams losing 10 or fewer games in their home arenas. By 2013-14, overall home winning percentage dropped to .580, with only seven of 30 teams limited to 10 losses or less.

And it’s not as if teams aren’t trying to rev up their crowds. Kevin Garnett publicly begged Brooklyn fans to get more into it, which only helped the Nets go a pedestrian3-2 at the Barclays Center during their playoff run against Toronto and Miami. They pulled out a seven-game win over the Raptors by winning twice in Toronto, even after that club’s GM, Masai Ujiri, fired up his fans at a pregame rally with a speech that included some not-so-nice words about Brooklyn.

These days, come playoff time, fans arrive to find identical t-shirts draping each seat in the arena, as marketing departments look to help the home team with whiteouts, blackouts, red-outs and blue-outs.  No matter – the fans are just as likely to leave disappointed as happy. Marketing gimmicks can’t replace genuine energy that the old arenas brought – that’s just the tradeoff for altering the design to chase suite money.  There’s also the matter of more distractions and less undivided attention on the part of today’s fan: cheering while texting is a challenge.

Of the 16 NBA venues hosting playoff series this year, all but one – Golden State’s Oracle Arena – was built sometime after 1994 playoffs. The Warriors are heading to new digs in San Francisco soon, where food will cost more and visiting players will be intimidated less.

The decline of home court invincibility isn’t altogether a bad thing – all of that extra amenity-driven revenue is hard to pass up, and the broader TV audience probably likes that games have become less predictable. But don’t expect that home court advantage you spent the whole season chasing to mean very much anymore. The fans are happy putting on the shirt, taking the selfie, hashtagging the scene, and cheering when they get around to it.

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Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the De ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by t ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammu ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern states last m ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

8 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

8 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Mi ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

8 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocati ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

8 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyway (Kidex ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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