Often referred to as “The Sixth Man” in many sports, the homecourt advantage can play an array of factors throughout a game — even an entire season. An important part of the NBA is its fans and culture; dedicated fans support their team through thick and thin. Certain teams have traditions fans play out, trying to shatter decibel meters all for the sake of another W tacked onto the record.
Without further ado, let’s take a look into 10 NBA teams that have the best crowd rallying behind them, and why they are the best.
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10. DALLAS MAVERICKS
2013 avg. attendance: 20,036
Despite not making the playoffs last year, the Dallas Mavericks still finished second in attendance. Their brand of basketball may have not been that exciting, but fans still supported them three years removed from a championship.
With their raucous drum line and loud-mouthed fans, Dallas was able to stack up 24 wins at home last season, the second-highest total for any lottery team. Their fans are not afraid to let opposing players and referees hear it from them. In 2009, when the Mavericks swept the Lakers, their fans stole a page from hockey fans and sang goodbye to Los Angeles. Since then, the Mavs have not seen a game of playoff basketball. This year, they hope to change that fortune and show everyone who forgot how loud their crowd can get.
9. UTAH JAZZ
2013 avg. attendance: 18,680
The Utah Jazz were able to make things interesting until the final game of the season, when they were just barely edged out of the playoffs by the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers. However, Utah played well all season through team basketball… not really having a superstar. It also had to do with their stellar play at home. Out of Utah’s 43 total wins, 30 of them came at home — that’s 69 percent of their wins. This wasn’t only because they played in their own gym; they played in front of their home fans.
Behind great ownership, the Jazz have a great fanbase. They are the only major professional sports team in Utah. This is an advantage because they are the only team the people of Utah have, and they take pride in it. Since the days of John Stockton and Karl Malone, Utah has always been a tough environment to play in because of how loud their fans get, as well as the thin air. Jazz fans will even testify that they are the loudest in the NBA. Oh, and you wouldn’t want to mess with their team mascot, either.
8. BOSTON CELTICS
2013 avg. attendance: 18,624
No other team has as much heart and history as the Boston Celtics. The same goes for their fans, which have carried the “Celtic Pride” slogan for decades. With the most championships of any team in NBA history, Boston fans have not had a great deal to complain about. As they enter the post-Paul Pierce era, rebuilding may be tough, but don’t expect the fans to hide. As many people expect the Celtics to be a lottery team, they will still be fun to watch with their plethora of young players.
The core of young players in Boston will have to do most of their damage at home again — as they did last season — winning 27 games at TD Bank Garden with the help of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. However, the home crowd will still be there backing them up every night.
7. SAN ANTONIO SPURS
2013 avg. attendance: 18,431
Ask any player in the NBA, and they will tell you San Antonio is one of the hardest places to win. Over the past three years, the Spurs have lost more than five games at home just one time. Their crowd is hostile, loud and loyal. One reason is that most Spurs fans have been rooting for the same group of players for extended periods of time. Tim Duncan could be the greatest to ever wear a Spurs jersey, and Tony Parker has been his sidekick every step of the way. There is nothing an NBA fan appreciates more than loyalty.
Look no further than San Antonio when it comes to loyalty and winning. Their fans show they are grateful for the hard work the Spurs put in every game by coming to their games and making it tough for opposing teams to win. Even their commentators — cough, Sean Elliott, cough — are ridiculously loyal.
6. NEW YORK KNICKS
2013 avg. attendance: 19,033
Through the dismal 2000s, the New York Knicks’ fans never went a year without supporting their Knicks, which is what make their fanbase so appealing. Along with the fact that they can be some of the more hostile fans in the league, many fans of other teams do not like Knicks fans purely because of their love for their team.
Every year, most Knicks fans expectations are blown completely out of proportion, but this is only because they want to see their team succeed. It can’t be knocked. The Knicks also held the second-best home record in the East with 31 wins in 2013.
5. DENVER NUGGETS
2013 avg. attendance: 17,819
The Mile High City also comes with their mile-high advantage of playing at a high altitude. As we all know, the Denver Nuggets like to keep the tempo up in order to play to their advantage. However, another advantage they have is their home crowd. Denver has actually broken decibel levels with the noise their crowd makes. This benefits a team in many ways, from their morale to the communication of the opposing team.
Denver has much to cheer for this year after a successful run to the playoffs last year that could have been extended if forward Danilo Gallinari stayed healthy. Look for the Nuggets’ crowd to give opposing teams headaches, and be in the run for one of the best home courts in the league this year. Last year, they held the best home record in the NBA at 38-3, which is extremely impressive.
4. CHICAGO BULLS
2013 avg. attendance: 21,876
The Madhouse on Madison rightfully deserves its nickname. Given to them during the Michael Jordan era, the Chicago Bulls have a fanbase that wears its heart on its sleeve to match the Bulls’ style of play perfectly. Their crowd and team seemingly go hand-in-hand with one another, which is what makes them one of the most fun teams to watch in the NBA.
Without Derrick Rose last year, Chicago still managed to clinch a No. 5 seed and make it to the second round of the playoffs. The intensity of the crowd, especially during the Miami series, was like no other. They legitimately had an impact on the game with their noise and the optimism that Chicago could beat the Heat. The excitement level will only rise this year with the return of Rose, and so should their wins at home.
3. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
2013 avg. attendance: 19,829
The Portland Trail Blazers hold the record for most sellout crowds in a row of all major league sports with 814 games. Along with numerous other sellout streaks, the Rose Garden loves their Blazers. It’s been tough in recent history, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the amount of fans they draw in.
Portland held the fourth-highest average in the league last year for attendance, and this was a team nowhere close to making the playoffs. Their fans are very active throughout games with chants and a lively mascot. Their loyalty is also a trademark of their fanbase.
2. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
2013 avg. attendance: 18,203
Despite the small market, you would think the Oklahoma City Thunder have one of the loudest crowds in the NBA. What separates them from most is the college-like environment the fans create, with chants and matching colors. They are also blessed with superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, which can only help.
A true homecourt advantage, the fans make sure their voice is heard during games. The Thunder truly have some of the best elements to play in. The fact that they are a small market team also boosts their fan’s morale and pride. Oklahoma City lost only seven games at home last year, one of six teams to stay in single-digit losses at home.
1. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
2013 avg. attendance: 19,373
Undoubtedly the loudest crowd in the NBA, there is no matching the sound in the Oracle Arena by any crowd. The Golden State Warriors won 28 games at home last year, and are a team on the rise. With a new area possibly in the works, the Warriors will draw more fans with a bigger arena, which only means they will get louder, if that is even possible.
After a matchup last year with Denver in the playoffs, the Warriors crowd showed they were a true sixth man advantage and supported harder than Denver’s crowd, which may have ultimately decided the series.
Who do you think has the best homecourt advantage in the NBA?
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