Why the Warriors Need Home Court Advantage In Playoffs


December 12, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; General view of Oracle Arena during the second quarter of the Golden State Warriors open practice. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Now more than halfway through the NBA season, the Golden State Warriors have played well above expectations  but they’ve been struggling lately.

The Warriors went win-less on their four-game road trip, allowing their opponents to score in binges. The Thunder scored 119, the Rockets scored 140, the Grizzlies scored 99 and the Mavericks scored 116.

Luckily for them, though, at 30-21, they’re firmly holding the sixth seed in the Western Conference. Still, is there a possibility of home court advantage?

In order for the Warriors to grab home court advantage, they will need to pass the Grizzlies as well as the Nuggets. That’s not easy, but the Warriors’ schedule, for the last 22 games, is relatively easy.

Now that the Denver Nuggets have it rolling—they’re on an nine-game winning streak— they are definitely the hottest team in the NBA. They beat the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night, and are looking to get their streak to 10 games, which is a huge possibility. This sounds like the Warriors have no hope of catching them.

That’s wrong, however. The Warriors, although dropping four straight, know how to comeback. Usually when they lose a series of games like this, they comeback strong. A home game against a team as good as the Rockets would definitely give them a confidence boost for the following three road games that the Warriors need to play. If they beat the Rockets, it could set up a path in which they could possibly catch up to the Nuggets.

As for Memphis, the Warriors shouldn’t really have to worry. Tayshaun Prince, the main acquisition for Rudy Gay, is having a tough time fitting in at Memphis. He’s also becoming very old and is past his prime. Ed Davis, a secondary player, only benefits when he is in the starting lineup. Will he be great? Yes, but not this season. Austin Daye, who did some damage against the Warriors, is a streaky shooter at best.

The Grizzlies essentially traded away 18 points per game for a guaranteed 11. Not saying the trade was bad, but I don’t think that the Grizzlies traded for a shot at the title this season. I think that they made this trade for the long run, and for financial reasons. The Warriors can easily catch the Grizzlies.

When the Warriors were at home in 2006-2007 playoffs, they beat the first-seeded Mavericks. This was the first time in NBA history that this had happened. If the Warriors had the home court advantage against the Jazz, they surely would have won. This is why it is essential for the Warriors to get that home court advantage. It could set up a very deep playoff run.