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Top 5 homecourts in the NBA Playoffs
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 15, 2013 @ 4:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sean Highkin, USA TODAY Sports
In the NBA Playoffs, momentum is everything. Many different factors can contribute to which teams have that: injuries, hot streaks, officiating, you name it. But one of the most important advantages any team can have, year-in and year-out, is a loud, energetic home crowd. Here are five teams opponents will dread visiting in the playoffs, which begin Saturday.
The last time the Nuggets lost a game at the Pepsi Center was January 18. Assuming they take care of business against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, that time will be over three months by the time the playoffs begin. The higher altitude in Colorado is a factor in their success at home, but that’s not all there is. This team has gelled in a big way as the season has progressed, withstanding injuries to Danilo Gallinari, Ty Lawson, and Kenneth Faried to remain unbeatable at home. Whether they face the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, or Los Angeles Lakers in the first round, it’ll be difficult to bet against them as the third seed.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Since moving to Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder have had one of the best home crowds in the league. There are no other professional sports teams in Oklahoma, so the fans take a college mentality into the Chesapeake Energy Arena when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook take the floor. They don’t sit until the Thunder make a basket. They’re loud from start to finish. The game-ops crew integrates Kanye West and Lil Jon beats into the usual “DE-FENSE” chants. It’s one of the most unique, refreshing arena experiences in sports, and the Thunder’s 33-6 home record this season reflects that.
New York Knicks
Spike Lee is the most recognizable Knicks fan, but there isn’t a more passionate home crowd in the league than that of Madison Square Garden. These fans know their team’s history and do that heritage justice even when the Knicks are a lottery team. That isn’t a problem this season: the Knicks are the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time since 1994.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are in the playoffs … [For more on The five best home-court advantages for the NBA Playoffs, click here.]
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