New York Knicks: Why Madison Square Garden Is NBA's Best Home-Court Advantage
New York is called the "Mecca of Basketball" for a reason, and with the Knicks finally returning to prominence, we're seeing that reflected in their play at MSG.
During their hot start to the season, the Knicks have gone undefeated at the Garden and are the last team standing without a home defeat.
MSG has long been one of the league's premier venues—players typically try to bring their best to New York—but now it's becoming the best home-court advantage in the entire league.
Since Mike Woodson took over back in March, the Knicks have gone 20-1 at home, with their head coach making it a priority to defend home-court over anything else. That attitude has paid off big time, with opposing teams finding it hard to keep up at the Garden.
When you take a look at the MSG crowd, it's easy to see why the Knicks' players get so pumped to play at home.
With an average attendance of 19,033 per night—good for sixth in the NBA—Knicks fans are some of the best in the league, and the noise at MSG lets you know it.
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Led by Spike Lee, the fans have always been loud and proud, but now that they have a team playing good basketball, things are even better.
You can just hear the excitement every time Carmelo Anthony gets the ball, the anticipation every time Steve Novak sets up for a signature three and the raucous energy when the Knicks are on the run.
Just look at what Novak had to say about playing at MSG (via KnicksNow.com):
I think we have the greatest home-court advantage in the entire league. You look around, and every seat is full. If you can’t get up and play here, you can’t play anywhere. The fans have been great.
The Knicks' star man, Melo, also plays his best at home, averaging 29 points per game with a 12.1 plus-minus rating at the Garden. There's no wonder he hears "MVP" chants every time he gets to the line.
Of course, there are some other fantastic home-court advantages in the NBA. The "Madhouse on Madison" in Chicago is aptly named, and Oklahoma City has really warmed to its team with a college-type atmosphere.
But it's hard to argue against MSG as the best home-court advantage—New York's record there speaks for itself.
If the Knicks can continue their early-season dominance and secure a high seed, no one is going to want to face them in the playoffs knowing the series will open up at the Garden.
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