Home-Court Advantage: Ranking the Top 10 Loudest NBA Arenas in 2013
NBA analysts can break down anything when it comes to a player.
They can study a spot on the floor a player loves to get to. Whether they're most likely to drive left or right. Nowadays, they can even take into account how many average dribbles a player takes on every possession.
But you don't often hear how well a player reacts to a home crowd. You don't hear how a player reacts when 18,000-plus fans are screaming down your neck every time you touch the ball (Derek Fisher in Houston last night).
Nate Robinson, for example, is fueled by fans' energy. The louder an arena is, the better the chance he's going to hit a big shot and then do a cartwheel just to let you know he hears you. Crowd noise can make players do anything. If somebody hits a big shot and the entire arena lights up, why not do the Bernie (Ty Lawson)?
On the flip side, these arenas have the ability to get into opposing players' heads. How about James Harden's first return to Chesapeake Energy Arena in the regular season?
Here are the top 10 loudest arenas in the NBA this year.
10. Madison Square Garden
The name of the arena alone can intimidate an opposing player. It's the only arena I know of that was built solely for emphasizing acoustics.
When Knicks fans want to, they can be just as loud as any arena in the league.
9. Sleep Train Arena
Sacramento literally cheered this team into staying.
The arena's new name definitely fits the team's talent, but the fans are still capable of being just as loud and passionate as they were in the early 2000s.
I'm happy for Sacramento that the Kings are likely staying. I hated how Oklahoma City got its NBA team by taking it away from Seattle. Hopefully, the Kings can capitalize during free agency and take this team back to contention.
The NBA as a whole benefits when the old ARCO Arena gets crazy
8. Bankers Life Fieldhouse
The Fieldhouse is still my favorite arena in the league just based on the old-school layout and the amazing features. When you visit Bankers Life (or Conseco, as I still call it), you can sometimes overlook how loud it actually gets.
The fans in Indiana have been extremely passionate and loud since the days of Reggie Miller. Now that Paul George and the Pacers have brought the team back to title contention, the fans have reminded us all season how loud they can get.
7. TD Garden
Much like MSG, TD Garden's history alone can get into any opposing player's head.
Jeff Green's reemergence and Avery Bradley's tenacious defense this season have fueled the Celtics into the playoffs and ignited TD Garden.
Plus, I'll never forget how loud Boston got when Ray Allen was first introduced in a Miami uniform early in the regular season.
And after the tragedy that occurred in Boston two weeks ago, I had goosebumps hearing how loud the crowd got in support of the Celtics and the city of Boston.
6. Pepsi Center
As an Oklahoma City Thunder fan, I know firsthand how loud the crowd can get when your team's point guard blocks Rocky's half-court shot.
I was in attendance in the Pepsi Center that night, and I was afraid for my life after Russell Westbrook jumped up and block the shot. Then he did it again.
It also didn't help that I was wearing a Westbrook shirt. The crowd literally said every disparaging thing it could think of as loud as possible. I couldn't help but respect Denver for standing up for its mascot. It reminded me of Utah and how nasty its fans can get.
Denver is one of the most underrated arenas as far as noise level. The Nuggets will need every bit of noise from the crowd as they look to get back into their quarterfinal series against Golden State.
5. Chesapeake Energy Arena
Two years ago, Chesapeake Energy Arena would have topped this list. From the clip above, I still get goosebumps remembering how loud it got.
Oklahoma City can still get insanely loud, but it has slightly fallen off. That's expected when your team's fanbase comes to expect success and doesn't necessarily fully appreciate it. The crowd was at a premier level last year in the Western Conference finals and NBA Finals.
However, it isn't as consistently crazy as it once was.
Nonetheless, the 'Peake is still a top-five arena when it comes to noise.
4. EnergySolutions Arena
Unless Utah's talent level comes to equal that of the Bobcats, EnergySolutions Arena will always be a top-five arena as far as noise goes.
Even if Utah fans are only bringing their "C" game, it still sounds obnoxiously loud since the seats are basically right over the court. During the Jerry Sloan days, opposing teams constantly had to plug their ears or scream in order to hear each other.
It's a shame Utah just missed the eighth seed this year. We'll have to wait potentially another year to hear how loud Utah can get in the playoffs.
3. United Center
Even with Derrick Rose out, Chicago has remained one of the loudest arenas in the league. This season, the crowd has been constantly fueled by Nate Robinson and Joakim Noah's emotion. Nate Robinson's huge fourth quarter against Brooklyn a few days ago got the building just as loud as Jordan's teams in the 1990s did.
Side note: Who remembers when Jordan's Bulls were on NBC during the NBA Finals and they had the noise meter on TV?
Furthermore, "The Madhouse" is by far the coolest nickname in all of the NBA.
2. Rose Garden
Damian Lillard kept Portland buzzing all season.
The Trail Blazers have always been one the loudest arenas in the league, if not the loudest. Even though they didn't make the playoffs, Lillard and the rest of the Blazers still ignited many exciting runs during the season.
Raymond Felton's return to Portland this season was memorable for me. Every time he touched the ball, the crowd let him know of its displeasure for him.
Next season, with LaMarcus Aldridge and Lillard leading the way, Portland will remind everyone on a national level just how loud and crazy it is when it's back in the playoffs.
1. The Oracle
When you add one of the loudest arenas in the league to one of the league's most exciting players, you get the top spot.
Stephen Curry's countless spectacular runs all season brought The Oracle to its feet. If you didn't get overexcited or out of your chair when Curry went off in the third quarter a few days ago, you're not human.
I was lucky enough to visit a Warriors game early this season and I'll never forget the buzz of the crowd when Curry puts up a shot.
As long as Curry and David Lee are in Golden State, The Oracle could be No. 1 on this list for the foreseeable future.