With the playoffs fast approaching, teams are fighting for home-court advantage in the playoffs. However, not all home-court advantages are created equally, so let’s looks at the top 10 home-court advantages in the NBA.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have only been in existence since 2008, but the voice of Oklahoma City was heard by the NBA before the inaugural Thunder season. In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans, the New Orleans Hornets were forced to set up shop in Oklahoma City. The Hornets only played in Oklahoma City for two seasons, but the short memorable stint was enough to convince NBA commissioner David Stern to give Oklahoma City a franchise of its very own. The Thunder are the only professional sports franchise in the Oklahoma and the fans support the Thunder by giving it a college-like the atmosphere that no other NBA arena can match.
Madison Square Garden is one of the most famous arenas in the world and New York has a great fan base that has been starving for an NBA championship since 1973. However, the fans continue to show up in droves and features some of the most energetic yet critical fans in the NBA. Madison Square Garden is No. 7 in the NBA in average attendance with 19,033. The Knicks have a super fan in movie director Spike Lee, who sits courtside for almost every New York Knicks game. On any given night there will be a celebrity that shows up at the Garden to support their home away from home.
The Lakers and Knicks are almost interchangeable, due to being located in the entertainment capitals of the world in Los Angeles and New York. However, the one thing that slots the Lakers slightly below the Knicks in home court support it that Lakers have won championships in every single decade since 1970, while the Knicks fans are still waiting and hoping for their third ring. The Lakers have filled the Staples Center to 99 percent capacity in its games this year, which is No. 7 in the NBA.
The Denver Nuggets fans are loud and entertaining as all good fan bases tend to be. However, what makes the Denver Nuggets one of the best home-court advantages in the NBA is the altitude. Denver has a “Mile High” advantage that makes it difficult for teams to perform at their physical peak. However, the key barometer for any home-court advantage is how well a team plays at home. The Nuggets have the best home record in the NBA at 36-3 and will be a tough out for whom ever they play in the playoffs.
The Boston Celtics are No. 5 in the NBA in attendance percentage at 100 percent. The Celtics have some of the best fans in the NBA and are capable of dishing out as much trash talk as Boston Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett. When former Celtic Ray Allen returned in a Miami Heat uniform, the Boston faithful made Allen’s return to Boston unforgettable and painful for Allen.
The Golden State Warriors are a playoff team once again. The Warriors as a team have been in the doldrums of the NBA along with the Los Angeles Clippers. However, the fans have always shown up in raucous support of the Warriors. The Warriors are No. 5 in the NBA in average attendance with 19,362 fans shouting their support of the Warriors. Golden State has an impressive 27-12 home record this season.
7. Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz boast a 29-11 home record, while their play on the road has resulted in a sub par 12-27 record. The arena set up is also conducive to a louder environment as the lower bowl of the arena seems to put the fans right on the court due to how steep the seating is.
The Chicago Bulls’ United Center has the highest average attendance in the NBA with 21,487 fans. The crowd can exceed 23,000 fans if standing room is available. The only reason the Bulls are not higher on this list is that the Bulls have a mediocre 22-17 record at home.
The Portland Trail Blazers bench may be bad, but the Rose Garden is full of rowdy fans. The Trail Blazers are No. 4 in the NBA in average attendance with 19,799 fans per game. The Rose Garden is the sixth-largest arena in the NBA, which makes the noise coming from the crowd even more remarkable.
The San Antonio Spurs have the second-best home record in the Western Conference and have dominated at home since the Twin Towers era in San Antonio. Unlike the the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors, the Spurs can be a difficult team to root for, because of head coach Gregg Popovich’s decision to bench certain players in games against marquee opponents.