The most irresistible force on the NBA’s long and winding road
Through its seven decades, the ranks of the National Basketball Association have seen their share of dominating and seemingly unstoppable forces – from the sheer size and strength of a Mikan to the elusive elasticity of a Dr. J.; from the sleight of hand exhibited by a Bob Cousy to the brilliant simplicity of Kareem’s sky hook.
The modern NBA, even with its sundry vices, certainly retains this virtue – LeBron James an ultra-athletic Mikan, a Steph Curry or Kyrie Irving the Cooz with a jump shot. Even Isaiah Thomas’s other-worldly 2016-17 season and its aftermath has been seen before – google Billy Ray Bates.
In pro basketball, however, there yet exists a Power more potent, more enduring and more consistent than any of these phenomenal athletic exploits.
Allow me to explain.
Through Tuesday (incidentally the exact three-quarter point of the season), an NBA team had played the second night of a back-to-back on its home court against a team that had not played the previous day on 71 occasions. Another 38 games have pitted squads who’d both competed the night before. [NOTE: The NBA’s first 911 games this season have also included 181 in which the “tired” team played on the “fresh” team’s floor.]
Of those 109 games, the Home team emerged victorious 65 times (.596) – tired Homies are 41 – 30 (.577) against fresh legs, 24 – 14 (.632) vs. the weary.
Overall this season, Home teams are 530 – 381 (.582).
Dorothy was right!!
Abacus Revelation for the Road
When y’all get through with my Algebra class, you’ll learn about something called a Logical Corollary in Geometry class.
Since this data suggests that Home Court Advantage pretty much negates the disadvantage of playing back-to-back …
… then playing tired on the road must be impossible, right? (That the LC, BTW!)