There may be no other sport where home court advantage comes into play more than during the NBA playoffs, which puts added pressure on teams to accumulate the best regular season records possible in order to get that all-important extra home game. The following are just a few of the premier home courts over the years, led by the infamous Bay Area.
Oracle Arena (Golden State Warriors)
Although the Warriors have hands down had the best home court advantage in the NBA over the past three incredible seasons, in reality the magic started to happen after the northern California squad upset the Dallas Mavericks as the 8-seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Dubbed as the “We Believe” year, the fan involvement and excitement surrounding the team has only increased in recent years with the surge of Stephen Curry, the drafting of Draymond Green, and the acquisition of Kevin Durant. Perhaps the only let down that the Warriors have experienced at home in recent memory was their Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Oakland last season.
Quicken Loans Arena (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Nicknamed as simply “The Q” to many around the league, the home to Lebron James has become one of the more festive environments in the league following his return home from Miami. The Cavaliers enjoyed the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs last year primarily due to their impressive 33-8 record in Cleveland, also going undefeated at home during the postseason. Surely this year will be a race to the top to edge the Warriors for the better overall record just in case we all get to see round 3 of the Warriors and Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
Moda Center (Portland Trailblazers)
Nestled in the Pacific Northwest, the Moda Center has quietly become one of the more explosive home atmospheres in the NBA today. Although the Trailblazers have not achieved much recent success in terms of championships and deep playoff runs, the city still enjoys their young, up-and-down style of play. Nicknamed Rip City, the Moda Center has actually saved the Trailblazers in recent memory as the club has posted some of the worst road records in the NBA over recent seasons. Damian Lillard has established himself as one of the elite point guards, and a fan favorite.
Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Despite losing NBA All-Star Kevin Durant during the offseason, the Chesapeake Energy Arena still serves as one of the top three home courts in the Western Conference in today’s league. Although one of the smallest markets in the entire association, Oklahoma City has proved to have the passion to account for twice as many fans as they have, this shows in their attendance figures and crowd noise. Chesapeake Energy Arena fell just short of history last season, when the Thunder held a 3-1 lead on the Golden State Warriors before eventually conceding three consecutive.
TD Boston Garden (Boston Celtics)
Although the Celtics have experienced a number of location and name changes for their arenas over the years, the teams legacy has produced some of the more recognizable battles in the history the sport. From the Larry Bird and Magic Johnson years to the recent battles between Paul Pierce and Lebron James, the Celtics have enjoyed a loyal fan base from the beginning, and in turn the team frequently posts positive results within their home confines. The Celtics posted a 28-13 home record last season which was good enough to land them at the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.