Saturday, April 26, 2014

Is "home court advantage" no longer a thing in the NBA playoffs?

Portland and Houston are winless in their own buildings.
As the NBA season wound down, the Indiana Pacers went 6-9 and choked away the top seed in the Eastern Conference.  They even rested all five of their starters for a game in Milwaukee with the East's best record on the line.  But the Miami Heat were totally disinterested in claiming it for themselves, and gave it right back by losing 5 of their last 6.  Playing at home rather than on the road in the postseason seemed totally insignificant to both teams.

Maybe they were on to something.

Through the first 26 games of the NBA playoffs, the home teams are a combined 11-15.  In two series, Wizards vs. Bulls and Rockets vs. Blazers, the visiting clubs are undefeated in six total chances.

During the 2013-2014 regular season home teams went 714-516, for a .580 winning percentage.  In the postseason that number has fallen to .423.  Yes, 26 games is a small sample, but it's still a ridiculous drop off.

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