Game 7 of the NBA Finals is nearly 48 hours away, so the title of this blog may be a bit misleading. But probably not. In the history of the NBA, home teams have won more than 80% of Game 7's in the playoffs, including 13 of 16 in the NBA Finals.
Corey Guenther, Chris Rozek, and I published an analysis of the home-court advantage last year in response to previous work by Roy Baumeister and his colleagues that indicated home teams choke in deciding games of a playoff series.
Simply put, there is no place like home. Although I would love to see a close competitive Game 7 (and a Celtics win), history tells us the Lakers are likely to come out on top.
Why is the home court advantage so powerful? Below is a list of contributing factors:
1) Travel that wears an opposing team down,
2) Supportive crowd for the home team,
3) Referee bias (intentional or unintentional), and