NBA Playoffs – Home Court Advantage Means Everything


It’s been nine seasons since the last time all 8 teams hosting the opening games of the first round series in the NBA playoffs won across the board, with the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers claiming a game 1 victory.

In the 2004 NBA playoffs these were the Pacers, Nets, Pistons and Heat to claim the first game in the East while the Timberwolves (a number one seed!), Lakers, Spurs and Kings took the first games in their series. All the home teams clinched the first round series as well, which means that the Milwaukee Bucks, Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies don’t have much to be playing for.

The other interesting tidbit about the first 8 games of the postseason are the margins of victory Рonly two games ended in a double digit point differential; the Knicks beating the Celtics 85-78 and the Nuggets beating the Warriors 97-95. The next closest game was the Spurs beating the Lakers 91-79. The Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder, two number one seeds, won their games by 23 and 29 points respectively.

Interesting also to see the similarity in the East and West. The average margin of victory in both conferences was 16 points, which might mean that unless some major adjustments are made heading into game 2, we might not be looking forward too much for these best of 7 series, that look more and more like they’re going to end a lot more quickly than that.