The Warriors continue to dominate at home, crush Spurs in San Francisco
THE HOME COURT ADVANTAGE IS REAL!
In my last piece I discussed how the Golden State Warriors are the worst road team in the NBA with their 0-7 record away from home, which is a jarring stat considering they’ve been the best on the road since 2014-2015.
But the other side of that coin is what GSW does when they are in their friendly confines in the Bay Area. A foundational key to this franchise’s dynastic dominance is the ability to soak up that good home arena energy from Dub Nation and unleash supercharged waves of basketball dominance.
That powerful home court advantage was born in Oracle Arena in Oakland, where the fans and the city received Best Home Court Advantage award. Per Stat Muse, the Warriors had a record of 173-32 at home between the 2014-2015 and 2018-2019 seasons. This includes going 39-2 twice in Oracle, just shy of the record of Larry Bird’s mighty Celtics who went 40-1 in the Boston Garden in the 1985-1986 season.
The psychological effect of Dub Nation boisterously encouraging the Warriors whilst simultaneously terrorizing the visitors’ nervous systems was demonstrable. Here’s current Suns coach Monty Williams talking about the raucous crowd atmosphere back when he was coaching the Pelicans in the 2015 playoffs, with a young Anthony Davis chiming in:
"I'm not so sure the decibel level is legal, and I'm serious," Williams said. "They've done studies on that. For the competition committee, there's got to be something to that. It does get a little out of hand. Their fans, I've talked about it for years, they have some of the best fans in the league."
Before practice on Sunday, Pelicans star Anthony Davis said his first career playoff experience was "a little hectic."
"It's definitely a different level, a different atmosphere," Davis said of the Oracle Arena. "It's so loud I can't hear my teammates or my coaches."
Many wondered if that power would continue into Chase Center when rising ticket prices and an emotional departure to the posh new digs in San Francisco might have alienated fire-breathing die-hards.
Let me tell you something right now buddy: that first year in Chase Center was rooough. They had a home record of 8-26 before the season was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic.
I’m proud to say I was there that inaugural season in the City, despite my heartbreak over the Town losing the best basketball team in the world. Heck, I was probably one of the first fans to ever mob into Chase Center as part of the Splash Zone, a bunch of dedicated fanatics who the Dubs invited out to kick it with the Warriors on Media Day 2019:
Due to injuries, trades, and retirements the Warriors didn’t look much at all like the Warriors. The Splash Bros were wiped out with awful falls on the court, Kevin Durant was gone to Brooklyn, and Draymond Green was trying to get guys like D’Angelo Russell and a rookie Jordan Poole to learn the ways of the Warriors.
Fast forward to last season, where suddenly Chase Center started getting the intensity required to root for Warriors basketball, per a piece by legendary Bay Area scribe Monte Poole:
“We started the season talking about trying to create an identity here because everybody compares it to Oracle and our history (in Oakland),” said Stephen Curry. But this is a different place. And you have to establish a different presence and identity and atmosphere here. And we have to do our part to win games.”
When coach Steve Kerr was outlining priorities for this season, taking ownership of the home court was at the top of the list. The Warriors were 8-26 at home in a disastrous inaugural season and improved to 25-11 in Year 2, approaching the success rate they were accustomed to during the old days at Oracle.
Maybe it was the painful losing that baptized the arena in a purification ritual that the old arena in Oakland went through for decades. Or perhaps it was people just happy to be together again in public after being locked down for several months. Possibly it was just seeing Stephen Curry and the gang healthy and excited again.
But whatever the reason, Chase Center has morphed into a very loud and dangerous domain for intruders. The Dubs had a 31-10 record at home last season (second best in the NBA behind Phoenix) and ran through the Western Conference gauntlet without losing a single game in San Francisco.
Their only postseason hiccup came when they fell asleep at the wheel in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, blowing a double digit lead to the Celtics and suffering their first playoff home loss in Chase history. Still, 11-1 at home in the playoffs sounds pretty freakin’ great to me lololol.
And despite a start to the new season that has already frayed their fans nerves with all the losing on the road, the Dubs are back to putting boots to asses in Chase. They are 6-1 at home after trouncing the San Antonio Spurs 132-95 last night. If we’re going to be disturbed by the road losses, then we should also be very pleased by how the Dubs are taking care of business at home… despite all the adversity.