San Antonio Spurs: Would Home Court Advantage Make Them Favorites in the West?

Denise CharlesContributor IIIFebruary 4, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 24:  George Hill #3 and Richard Jefferson #24 of the San Antonio Spurs congratulate Tiago Splitter #22 during their game againsts the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on January 24, 2011 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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It’s safe to say that the San Antonio Spurs are playing their best this season. 

With a current record of 41-8, they are the only team with less than ten losses. However, with nine back-to-back away games and six of their previous losses being at their opponents’ arena, it’s definitely worth saying the worst is yet to come for the Spurs

As good as they are on the court though, many have been hesitant about jumping on the Spurs bandwagon. Some still believe that the Lakers (34-16) will end up winning it all, despite their abnormal start to the season.

However, the Spurs have yet to show consistency in bad games and after these nine away games are over, the future of the Spurs will be much easier to comprehend. 

It’s not to say that the Spurs will be destroyed in the next nine games; no, not at all.  Although they have six away losses, they still have 15 wins on other courts.

The question remaining after all is said and done is: Would home court advantage make the Spurs favorites in the west?

It absolutely would.

With 25 wins and only two losses at home—so far—it’s safe to say the home court, Spurs’ fans and the city of San Antonio seem to be making the difference; however, the Los Angeles Lakers—what might be the Spurs biggest threat in the west—haven’t done too much to insure their safety at home either. Eight of their 16 losses have been at the Staples Center and two of their losses has come from the Spurs. 

I doubt their fans have met their typical thrill over the game and team as well—what fan could come off their team’s below average season and their booing of the team in Los Angeles after their early January loss to Memphis?

In terms of playoffs—what should really matter at this point—the Spurs should aim to have home court advantage. The only way to accomplish that is by having the best record in the NBA; although they can hold their own at other arenas, it’s obvious they do better on their own grounds. 

Last season was the first time in years that the Spurs did not have first round home court advantage in the playoffs. Even though they made it to the second round, they couldn’t overcome the disadvantage of not having home court and fell short of their goal. 

At this point in 2007—the last year the Spurs won a championship—they were 32-16. They finished the regular season with a record of 58-24. In the first round, their only loss was at the AT & T Center against the Denver Nuggets in the very first game of the postseason. 

So is home court advantage crucial to their future success? No, as seen in 2007; even if they start off with a loss at home, they are still capable of coming back and winning it all.

But having home court advantage would definitely help them out more in terms of the ring, especially if they accidentally follow in the footsteps of the 2008 Boston Celtics team—a team that lost every away game in the first and second rounds, yet still managed to trample the Lakers in the Finals. 

I’m sure Spurs fans would not want to sit through a nail-biting seven gamer though.

Yes, things could vary from each team in the NBA. Some may be more dominant at their opponents’ arena while others struggle twice as much, which is good for those overachieving teams. If the Spurs do better at home though and desperately want home court advantage to ensure playoff success, then every win is crucial between now and then. 

The numbers prove though that they are much better at home.

With that being said, if the Spurs can continue to push through and get that advantage in the playoffs—then they would definitely be favorites in the West. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to see the Los Angeles Lakers get dethroned?

In turn, they might become the favorite in the league because the Boston Celtics are another team that people wouldn’t mind seeing ousted, along with the premature Miami Heat team that America seems to despise with every game and every interview of their beloved LeBron James. 

So, for the sake of America and all that’s good in the NBA: Go Spurs Go.


Denise Charles is a Featured Columnist for the San Antonio Spurs. She started as an intern at B/R in September 2010.  Follow her on Twitter and support Cruz Productions.