The NBA playoffs are starting to roll around again. This year’s conference semifinals will be a fun time for basketball fans. With the possibility of some of your favorites taking home the championship, the action is about to start again. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for.
Home court advantage
The home-court advantage in the NBA playoffs can be a huge factor in how well a team performs. But it can be tricky to figure out how much it matters.
For starters, the odds of a home team winning the series are much higher than that of a road team. That’s because a team’s home venue gives them a psychological edge. They know four out of five fans will be rooting for them.
Another factor contributing to home-court advantage is the level of crowd noise. Studies have shown that referees tend to give better calls to teams at home. This could also have a subconscious effect on the referees.
Getting home-court advantage in the postseason has always been a hot item in the NBA. There are over 150 series in the league’s history, and over 100 of those series have been won by the team with the best home record.
If you are a fan of the NBA, you are probably familiar with tiebreakers. These are rules that are used to determine the playoff spots. The government is simple: the team with the better record against their conference wins the hole.
This year, the NBA made changes to the rule. Home-court advantage is now a factor, but the team’s record in its division remains the first tiebreaker. It also considers how far apart the teams are in the same division and how close they are in the opposite conference.
If you’re in the East, you can expect to see some very interesting tiebreakers in the season’s final weeks. Two teams could end up tied for second in the East. One of them might be the Boston Celtics. They are in a position to move up from ninth to sixth, or they might fall all the way down to fifth.
The NBA has been clear about the new rules. Currently, the Rockets and Thunder are tied for the top seed, while Utah and Dallas are in a three-way tie for fourth.
The Conference Semi-Finals are the second round of the NBA playoffs. This is a ‘best of seven’ series determines who advances to the Conference Finals.
In Conference Semi-Finals, home-court advantage plays a critical role. Teams with a better regular season record than their opponent have a home-court advantage. 80% of the time, a team with a home-court advantage has won the conference semifinals.
Two teams will play in the Western Conference Semi-Finals, with each of the winners of four previous matchups facing off in a best-of-seven game. Fans will see incredible blocked shots, highlight reel jams, and clutch defensive stands.
The first game will take place at TD Garden on Sunday afternoon. Afterward, Game 2 will be played at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Wednesday night. A standard tiebreaker will be used if the two teams end up tied.
Home-court advantage will continue to play a vital role in Conference Semi-Finals. Those two teams will have three more days to prepare before a potential championship ring is on the line.
Grizzlies vs. Grizzlies
The Golden State Warriors are a favorite to win their NBA playoffs series against the Memphis Grizzlies. They are also the higher seed, so this will be an exciting matchup for the second round.
This will be the first time the two teams have faced off in the playoffs since the teams met in the 2014-15 title run. However, the Grizzlies are not afraid to play spoiler. Unlike their opponents, they know what they have to do to win.
During the regular season, the Grizzlies were the top offensive-rebounding team. They pulled in 33.8 percent of the available offensive rebounds. In addition, they had the second-highest points-per-game average in the NBA.
The Grizzlies are also known for their suffocating defensive intensity. They will be looking to set up a Game 7 at the FedEx Forum in Memphis.
The Grizzlies are a veteran group that has never won an NBA title. However, they have won three games in a series against the Warriors and are four wins away from advancing to the Western Conference Finals.