The contrast of the Golden State Warriors as home and away: what impact does this have in the Playoffs?

One of the issues that has marked the season 2022-2023 of Golden State Warriors The two versions have been shown both as locals and as visitors. That duality between playing at home or away from Chase Center largely explains their current situation: anchored in the middle zone of the West and at risk of falling to the Play-In. The defending champions have the necessary experience to meet in Playoffsor so everyone believes, but if they don’t manage to change this dynamic they won’t last long.

Such has been the contrast between playing in San Francisco or far from there that they came to chain 11 consecutive defeats as visitors. From February 1 to March 20, the Warriors did not win a single game on the road. To better understand the impact of this, an example. If they had only added two or three victories at home, their current outlook would be very different, occupying fourth position in the West in relative comfort.

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To be champion in the NBA you have to win “only” 16 games in Playoffs. The difficulty of this increases whether or not there is a favorable court factor in each tie. Assuming Golden State can be virtually, at most, fifth, that means they would never have more than 3 home games per series.

In any case, no fifth classified has ever won the ring and only a sixth did (Rockets, 1995). Although many more factors are involved in this, it is time to take a look at how important it is to perform well as a visitor and how what is done in the Regular Season is transferred to the Playoffs.

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Performing well as a visitor, essential in the Playoffs

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In this season Golden State Warriors have won 23.6% of their games on the road compared to 78.9% at home, which makes a huge difference. In the estimated projection of this campaign, it would be normal for them to finish with 10 wins, currently subtracting 3 more commitments away from home.

The contrast of the Warriors is so great that, with the exception of the seasons where there were lockout (1999, 2012) a team with 10 victories or less on the road has not entered the Playoffs since 1992 (Miami Heat, 10-31).

Since the absorption of the ABA franchises for the 1976-1977 academic year only 12 times a team has entered the Playoffs with less than one 25% of wins as a visitor.

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Of all these were sweeps 7 from them. It should be noted that until 2003 the First Round was the best of five duels, so only one match was at home for these.

In a once of the 12 Here collected a franchise with 10 victories or less as a visitor in the Regular Phase exceeded the First Round of Playoffs: the Phoenix Suns in 1984. Without going any further, that team led by John MacLeod reached the Conference Finals, being eliminated by the Lakers (4-2) as portrayed in the series Winning Time.

Performance during the Regular Season matters, and a lot, as it will put a team in a better or worse position to face the Playoffs positively.

If we add to this not having a home court factor, the outlook for the Warriors would almost certainly be, in the best of cases, a 4-2 elimination in the First Round.

The impact of the home court factor in the Playoffs

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Since Steve Kerr took over as head coach of Golden State Warriors the team has only lost two playoff series: The 2016 and 2019 Finals. First, the Cavs’ 3-1 comeback. Then, a tie in which Kevin Durant only played and then got injured, Klay Thompson ended up also being dropped and where the Raptors were better.

All this to treasure an incredible balance in the postseason of 93 wins for just 34 losses (73.2%).

At that time only in the 2018 Conference Finals, the aforementioned 2019 Finals and in the 2022 series against the Grizzlies the Warriors have had to play without the home court factor in their favour.

That balance of 2-1 It reflects very well Golden State’s dependence on its stadium and its fans to succeed, as well as how difficult it will be for them to have a good playoff run in 2023.

The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the NBA or its organizations.


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