Loved the optimistic article by Evans this morning, but one item left off his list that I still think is a really big deal is the fact that these next two games are at home.
The stats are just staggering:
- Record: 27-13 at home, 14-27 on the road
- Scoring: 98.5 ppg at home, 94.6 ppg on the road
- Shooting: 47.7% at home, 45.3% on the road
- Assists: 951 at home, 892 on the road
- Plus/Minus: +182 at home, -200 on the road
How about individual players?
- Jason Terry shoots 48.7% at home (!) and just 37.5% on the road
- Jeff Green shoots 50% at home, 43.4% on the road
- Brandon Bass shoots 50% at home, 46.7% on the road
Update: Jackie Mac adds some historical stats.
Since Garnett joined the Celtics, the team is a perfect 13-0 in home playoff games following a road loss in the same postseason, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information. Garnett's numbers in those games: 21.4 points a game, 10.8 rebounds, 55.4 percent shooting and 80.3 percent free throw shooting. Since KG became a Celtic, Boston is 32-7 in home playoff games but only 14-27 on the road. KG has averaged 18.9 points and shot 51.7 percent at the Garden in the postseason, and 16.4 points and 46 percent shooting on the road.
In sports like in real estate, location matters. Sometimes it really is that simple. This game is in Boston tonight and I like our chances. (We'll worry about stealing a road game or two after we get a win or two at home)
Doc smartly will not play the Boston Strong card to motivate his team. If they need that then we're in big trouble already. But there should be no mistaking the emotion in the arena tonight. The Boston faithful are always a big advantage and they are always loud and proud.
Tonight it should be at a whole other level and rightly so. The Red Sox and Bruins faithful did their part to show respect and courage in the aftermath of the events of last week. The Celtics fans haven't had their chance yet.
But even getting past that emotion, the home court advantage (as outlined in the stats above) is unmistakable. Stars can usually shine no matter where they are, but support players need every edge that they can get.
Call me crazy, but I'm predicting a win tonight.