Every NBA series during the playoffs is a best-of-seven and one team gets the all-important home court advantage
The NBA, like every American major sporting league, has two phases to decided who becomes the champions.
The regular season decides the seeds before the playoffs begin. Many teams have already been eliminated from the 2021 NBA playoffs and with the NBA Finals fast approaching, NBA lines site Betway went back and looked at all 71 NBA Finals and there was something peculiar coming out.
All NBA playoff games, including the Finals, is a best-of-seven series. The games are played at the stadiums of the two teams competing and one always get that extra fourth game, which is called home advantage.
Now, playing at home, in front of the rapturous crowd, is a big deal. However, playoff and elimination basketball also has its own intensity.
That extra game does have a lot of significance as to who the eventual champion becomes, and getting this advantage can mean the difference between heartbreak and jubilation.
The home court factor in NBA Finals
The seedings and head-to-head results decide who gets home court advantage in each of the playoff series.
Apart from getting the psychological edge of the extra game at home, history also favours the side with home court advantage in the NBA Finals.
Teams with home court advantage have won 70% of all series in NBA Finals history. Further, home teams have won 61% of all NBA Finals games. However, this home court advantage somewhat reduces during the regular season as teams only rack up 57% wins at their base.
The finals format has also changed over the years and currently uses a 2-2-1-1-1 set, which has been in place since 2014.
The other formats used were a 2-3-2, but currently the first and seventh games are played at the home stadium of the team with the better record.
That has seen the team with home court advantage gather an incredible 6-1 record in the NBA finals, winning the championship.
The numbers also do the talking with home teams winning 75% and 79% and the first and seventh game of the series.
This number reduces with home teams struggling in the fourth game. That winning percentage goes all the way down to 44%.
Teams breaking the home advantage curse
Of course, away teams have won the all-important seventh game in the NBA finals, but those have been few and far in between.
The latest team to have achieved that feat featured LeBron James. The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in 2016 thanks to some LeBron and Kyrie Irving magic.
However, only three other teams have pulled off this shock. The 1969 Boston Celtics beats the LA Lakers and the 1974 Celtics also did this number on the Milwaukee Bucks. The final team to pull off an away game seven win was the Washington Bullets in 1978 against the Seattle SuperSonics.
NBA Finals don’t always reach the seventh game, with the decider coming up on 19 occasions. However, the home team has come out on top in 15 of those occasions, which is an incredible 79%.
Game seven factor coming up in 2021?
The 2021 NBA season has been hit hard with restricted games and fans too. However, things are improving with more fans being let into the arenas.
The season is also in its final stretch and it will be interesting to see which teams make it from the Western and Eastern conference.
While seven games might not be needed to decide the champion, home court advantage could be the major factor that crowns a new NBA Champion in 2021.
Source: NBA picks site Betway