Home Vs. Road: A Quick Primer on What’s to Come

Home Vs. Road: A Quick Primer on What’s to Come

The NBA regular season is one heck of a marathon. Starting from the end of October and running all the way through the middle of April, NBA teams are tasked with competing in eighty-two 48-minute basketball contests—41 in their hometown venue and another 41 in a range of various road cities and stadiums. Out of this, a natural “home-court advantage” tends to materialize. Teams, for as long as the Association has been around, have been more successful at home than on the road. Indeed, this idea of a home-court advantage in the NBA is widely acknowledged to be an incredibly important factor towards the general outcome of games. Home teams, in any one season in league history, have never won less than 54% of their games, and have even managed to establish single season winning percentages as high as 67% in the past forty years. Despite this, however, the manner in which individual players’ performances wax and wane given home or road venue remains largely uninvestigated. For instance, many assume that star players, those at the absolute height of the NBA game, are less dependent on their surrounding environment(s) than less-heralded players. Bench players—on a general scale–, meanwhile, seem to carry the reputation that their quality of play is far less reliable on the road, where fans are more hostile, hotels and strangers replace homes, families, and friends, surroundings become unfamiliar, and otherwise uniform schedules fall prey to all kinds of unforeseen circumstances. As such, to further explore and clarify the public’s understanding of home-court advantage and the manner in which it influences not only teams but also individuals in...
Offseason Outlook: Brooklyn Nets

Offseason Outlook: Brooklyn Nets

In less than three weeks, the NBA playoffs will begin in earnest.  When they do, the focus, deservingly so, will be on the league’s playoff teams. However, up to five of those teams will be newcomers to the playoff scene who watched from the lottery last season.  And all playoff teams were once lottery teams themselves. So before we reach the playoffs, where do the league’s lottery teams stand, and what may they look to do this offseason to approach the playoff precipice?  Here’s a look at one of those lottery teams: the Nets. Brooklyn Nets Players Under Contract: Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Bojan Bogdanovic, Sean Kilpatrick, Chris McCullough Free Agents: Shane Larkin (Player Option), Markel Brown (Restricted), Sergey Karasev, Henry Sims, Willie Reed (Restricted), Donald Sloan, Thomas Robinson (Player Option), Jarrett Jack (Team Option), Wayne Ellington (Player Option) A look at the Nets’ offseason outlook requires an evaluation of the worst draft pick situation the NBA has seen in recent memory.  The Nets’ 2016 and 2018 first round picks go to Boston, their 2017 second round pick goes to Atlanta, and their 2018 second round pick goes to Charlotte or Philadelphia.  The Clippers get to swap second rounders in 2016 unless it falls from 56-60, which is unlikely.   And the Nets and Celtics swap 2017 first rounders if the Celtics are better than the Nets, which is likely, although that allows the Nets to swap second rounders with the Celtics, unless the second rounder falls between 31-45 (which appears unlikely). In short, the most likely scenario is over the next three drafts the Nets will have a...