To win an NBA championship, taking care of business at home is a priority—but it's not the only one.
Great teams can win on the road, especially in the postseason, with everything on the line in front of a hostile crowd.
Certain teams have that ability and certain teams just don't play well outside the confines of their own buildings. Here's a look at a few NBA title contenders that will ultimately fall short due to their inability to win on the road.
Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant and company have been great under the roof of the Staples Center, posting a combined 28-8 record (regular season and postseason combined).
Yet once you get this Lakers team on the road they don't have the look of title contenders, going 16-20 on the year. There isn't a big discrepancy between any of their offensive splits between home games and road games, but this team just simply doesn't play well on the road.
Two of their three playoff losses this season have come away from the Staples Center.
Boston has been just as bad as the Lakers on the road this year. Doc Rivers just about surrendered home-court advantage in the first round by resting his starters late in the season.
During the year, the Celtics went only 16-20 away from home compared to a 27-9 mark at home.
They went only 1-2 in the first round against Atlanta on the road and will either have to be completely dominant at home or find a way to steal some more road games to make a run to the finals.
With the way LeBron James has played this postseason, it doesn't look like much can stop the Heat on their path to a title.
The only thing that may have a chance is their performance away from the American Airlines Arena this season. The Heat are a mere 19-16 team on the road, compared to a dominant 31-5 at home.
As a team, Miami scored 100.4 points per game, shooting .477 from the floor at home during the regular season. But on the road, those numbers dropped to 96.6 points and .462 from the floor. That may not look like a lot but through the course of a season it amounts to a great deal.
While I don't worry about Miami nearly as much as the other two teams away from home, if there is one weakness it's that they are beatable on the road. Their only postseason loss this year? Yep, at Madison Square Garden.