In the playoffs, the home crowds are always better. That can often be the key to the series, but most teams that play in the postseason, in fact, have the ability to take the crowd completely out of the picture. It’s not very easy to do this, so what an NBA player would need to do is hit a huge shot to silence the crowd and allow his team to go on a run. That’s killer.
Wit that being said, this is a list of the top five crowd silencers. The ones who the fans love to see play, but hate when they’re left with daggers in their hearts. The ones that are clutch, and able to drown out the noise, shut off the media, and not worry about a shot that they haven’t taken yet. These are the ones that do the best in shutting out the noise. Literally.
NOTE: LeBron James, and any other player on a team with a “bandwagon” fan base is exempt from this list because it wouldn’t be silencing the crowd, it would be making them cheer. Example #1: Milwaukee.
1. Stephen Curry:
“The Nuggets are on a run! Don’t look now, but I think they’re about to get back into this game! Wait, why is Stephen Curry open? Just kidding, the lead is back up to 12. The Nuggets are doomed.”
Those were the thoughts of every Nugget fan in game two. Yes, many agree that the Warriors have problems closing games down the stretch, but Stephen Curry was sick of it. He just wanted to leave Denver so he could breathe, and finally get home to Oakland, where he knows that he is loved. Somewhere between his cold start and being jeered at after spraining his ankle, Curry had decided he had enough.
When the crowd is buzzing, egging their team on for just one more stop, Stephen Curry hits a deep three pointer in Kenneth Faried’s face. The kind of three pointer where the crowd just hangs their head in shame. From that moment on, the crowd was silent.
2. James Harden:
Seeing Harden play Oklahoma City in a Houston jersey is definitely a strange sight, but nevertheless, it’s fun to see OKC’s reaction when he hits a huge shot. Although the Thunder trail the Rockets 2-0 in the series, Harden hit some monster shots against his former team, and looked like he was playing for something. The Rockets got really close to tying the series at one, but instead dropped down to 2-0. Every time that Serge Ibaka made a jump-shot, or Kevin Durant drove to the basket and scored, James Harden would come down and make a ridiculously tough shot that has the crowd buzzing.
3. Carmelo Anthony:
The Knicks won’t have too many fans in Boston, but they’ll be playing for something for sure. Melo and his team are desperately trying to win a playoff series for the first time in a decade. That’s a pretty long time, if you ask me. Surely, Anthony has come ready to play, and has always hit the big shots. He’s not only the center of attention in New York, however. When he comes to Boston and plays in a close game, he will shut the crowd up by hitting a fading three pointer with a man in his mug. He is just that type of guy. He can make a tough shot and make it look easy, but it almost never is.
4. Paul Pierce:
Same goes for Paul Pierce, who is ironically on this list as well. There’s no way that the Celtics are going to get swept this series, count on that. Pierce will get a chance to show his brilliance once again. Carmelo Anthony looked like he was the center of New York in those first two games of the series, but he forgets that Paul pierce is the true owner of New York. When coming back there, with his season on the line, he will definitely perform, and have the crowd deathly ill.
5. Kevin Durant:
Durant doesn’t have a lot of bandwagon, and I respect that about him. He doesn’t have a lot of people cheering him on when he plays a road game, so naturally, he’s able to actually win road games. Against the Rockets, I trust that he’ll be able to do the same thing. It’s not every day that you see a 6’11 Small Forward who is quick and can handle. Durant is truly unstoppable, and he shows it when he nails a clutch three in the midst of a run by the Rockets, or any other given team.