After the NBA made a decision to finish the season in Orlando, teams have started to prepare for workout and scrimmages. No fans will be allowed to enter the arena, as well as interact with players. Come playoff time, no team will have home court advantage. Home court advantage is something that many teams really take to the max. Take the Raptors for example. Last season, every NBA fan saw how wild their fans went after winning the NBA Finals. They saw how loud and crazy they were during the games, and how difficult that environment was for opponents. Having an empty arena will surely affect teams, because they won’t have the support that they did in the previous years.

When NBA players enter their home arena for a playoff game, it gives them energy that they have never felt before. Seeing all the fans in the arena wearing the same colored t-shirt chanting gives them the confidence to win a game. Some of the loudest fans in my opinion are Warriors, Raptors, Jazz, and Celtics fans. Those four automatically come to mind when thinking about tough environments. Opponents fear going into those arenas because of the harsh vibe towards them, not to mention the crowd noise.

Unfortunately, this season, there will be no fans during playoff games. NBA teams will not be able to play in their hometown (other than the Orlando Magic), which means that they will have a  lot less support with them. This can affect teams by not being able to give opponents a tough time while playing, as well as not having a lot of “hype” going into a matchup. Since 2014, NBA fans have seen Warriors fans in the Finals every year. You see how players like Steph Curry interact with the crowd, as well as the crowd chanting and booing throughout the game. Without this, there will be a different feel to the game on t.v. 

Playing top teams like the Raptors and Lakers will be a little bit easier because opponents won’t have to face the fans, or the environment. Maybe the NBA will be able to add noise effects or chants to the arena (wouldn’t make much of a difference), just to get in the heads of players. 

Until the season returns, we won’t know what the games will be like. Hopefully the league will add some extra effects for the arena, but likely not. Seeing the crowd in a playoff game be loud, wearing the same t-shirt, makes playoff games special. Hopefully next season it will be back to normal, but expect a lot of different things to be tried out for the rest if the 2020 season.

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