Top 6 Best Home-Court Advantages in the NBA


6. Chesapeake Energy Arena- Oklahoma City Thunder- Capacity: 18,203

The Thunder have built a college-like atmosphere. After hosting the Hornets for parts of two seasons, the SuperSonics ownership knew there was a strong contingent of fans dying to scream their lungs out 41 nights a year. In 2006 the Miami Heat cultivated the idea of the fans all wearing the same color t-shirts as a sign of unity, then the Warriors made it fashionable in 2007 and now the Thunder are perfecting it. Their fans are rabid and they consistently sell out the building. Now that they finally have a real contender to cheer for, the home games in OKC are as rowdy as they’ve ever been. It’s always great to see these smaller market teams so strongly embraced by their home city. OKC wanted a team and got one, now they are showing why they deserved one all along. The true test will be ten years down the road when Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka are gone/washed up, how willing the fans are to scream their heads off for a mediocre product.

Best Moment:



5. TD Garden – Boston Celtics- Capacity: 17,565
While not the old Garden, the new stadium still has the same type of rabid, die hard fans of yesteryear. The 2008 Celtics rode their crowd momentum through some tough game 6’s and 7’s en route to an NBA title. There’s something in the air around Boston and specifically the new Garden that still has the wisp of the great teams of old, and if the fans could just scream loud enough, it will bring them back to the good old days of Bird and McHale. It’s a nice touch that they brought back the old parquet floor, which is so iconic, and it helps cultivate the atmosphere of keeping close that which is old and sacred to the local fans. The only downside: they’ve had so many winners in Boston, that they don’t respond well to losers, just listen to the fans chanting MVP for Kobe Bryant in 2007. (Only one year later would the Celtics be taking on the Lakers in the Finals.)

Best Moment:



4. Madison Square Garden- New York Knicks- Capacity: 18,200

MSG. What hasn’t been said about the arena. While, at times, it brings out the best in opponents (just ask Curry, James, Bryant, and Jordan), New York has cultivated a certain atmosphere in the city, and when the team is good, the fans come out in droves. Even when the Knicks were awful through the 2000’s, the fans came through and expressed their strong disapproval of all that was Isaiah Thomas. It’s considered the ‘World’s Most Famous Arena’ for a reason. That venue, in that city, it’s about more than just basketball, it’s about the history and the legacy. Now that those New York fans have a (somewhat) perennial contender, the have shown the ability to get loud when the squad needs it, and who knows, maybe we’ll have an NBA Finals at MSG in the next few years.

Best Moment: (Too many iconic moments to choose from, check out the Chris Crowley doc. about all the best moments.)



3. Rose Garden- Portland Trailblazers- Capacity: 19,980

Though one of the smallest arena’s in the NBA, and in one of the NBA’s smallest media market’s, the Rose Garden is quite the home court advantage for the Blazers. Once they get rockin’, it’s difficult to focus on the task at hand when 19 thousand are screaming their heads off. There have been tons of iconic moments in the Rose Garden, just look at Brandon Roy’s entire career, the franchise just can’t seem to catch a break with so many of their franchise players going down permanently. If they could get a perennial contender up in Portland, no team would want to get matched up with them, especially once they start winning Division titles behind Damian Lillard. Though small in stature, the Rose Garden is afraid of no man.

Best Moment:



2. Pepsi Center- Denver Nuggets- Capacity: 18,007

The Mile High City has one huge thing going for them. The altitude genuinely changes games, especially any that go in overtime. For those who have never tried to run in Colorado, the air is just simply thinner up there, and come late in that fourth quarter when a team has to reach deep down to muster up their last bit of strength to will themselves to  a win, the Nuggets are still in cruise control. It’s a much more subtle difference in the NBA than a friend flying in from out-of-town to play pick up hoops, but it can become a factor in a playoff series when the last few games go back and forth between cities. As a team philosophy, the Nuggets almost always have a run and gun style of play, using the altitude as a weapon, trying to outscore and outrun opponents. They have had mild success with it over the years, making a deep run to the conference finals in 2009, but the team has to be built for pushing the ball, and I’m not sure Carmelo Anthony was the prototypical run and gun small forward. Ultimately, this home court advantage has been wasted in the playoffs through the years while the Nuggets usually put up one of the best home records, year in and year out.

Best moment:



1. Oracle Arena- Golden State Warriors- Capacity: 19,596

Undoubtedly the best home court advantage, ‘ROARacle’ attracts the most raucous fans in the NBA. The thing that makes Oracle and the Warriors so special is that there are really no other basketball teams in the entire Bay Area (Cal, Stanford, and USF all have middling programs at best), and the Bay has some die hard basketball fans, so what’s their only outlet for potentially good hoops? Catch a home game in Oakland. Come playoff time, the decibels reach near deafening levels, like over 120 dB. That’s louder than a Motorhead concert, how can the players be expected to even hear the whistles? This is the type of arena that you feel sorry for any team that has to come play there more than once a year because no matter how bad the Warriors are (and trust me, they were quite bad at times), they always had a decent home record, simply based on how much the team feeds off the energy from the crowd. The crowd is constantly on their feet, and knows when to change their cheers from ‘DEFENSE’, to ‘MVP’, to arguably having the loudest boos for calls they don’t agree with. Oracle is a tough place to play, and if you’re a Warrior, you know you’ve got a shot against anybody, no matter the records.

Best Moment:

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