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How Much Does Home Court Advantage Matter In The Playoffs?

This article is more than 7 years old.
Jason Terry revs up the Garden crowd in Boston during Game 4. (Elise Amendola/AP)
Jason Terry revs up the Garden crowd in Boston during Game 4. (Elise Amendola/AP)

The Boston Celtics, who trailed their best-of-seven series against the New York Knicks 0-3, are looking to make history.

No NBA team has ever come back from a 0-3 deficit to win a series. But the C's are halfway there: the team took Game 4 in Boston and Game 5 in New York.

Tonight: Game 6, back in Beantown, where the crowd is sure to be loud.

Any casual sports fan knows that home court advantage is real. But how much does it matter in the playoffs?

Ed Feng, who runs the sports analytics website The Power Rank, crunched the numbers and found a notable boost come playoff time:

0503_home-court-advantage-chart

Feng points to research showing that the crowd effect on refereeing has a significant impact on home court advantage. Big playoff crowds, he surmises, may help to explain the boost.

Reason alone for the home crowd to jeer the referees tonight. Not that anyone needed any encouragement.

This program aired on May 3, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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