Often referred to as “The Sixth Man” in many sports, the homecourt advantage can play an array of factors throughout a game — even an entire season. An important part of the NBA is its fans and culture; dedicated fans support their team through thick and thin. Certain teams have traditions fans play out, trying to shatter decibel meters all for the sake of another W tacked onto the record.
Without further ado, let’s take a look into 10 NBA teams that have the best crowd rallying behind them, and why they are the best.
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10. DALLAS MAVERICKS
2013 avg. attendance: 20,036
Despite not making the playoffs last year, the Dallas Mavericks still finished second in attendance. Their brand of basketball may have not been that exciting, but fans still supported them three years removed from a championship.
With their raucous drum line and loud-mouthed fans, Dallas was able to stack up 24 wins at home last season, the second-highest total for any lottery team. Their fans are not afraid to let opposing players and referees hear it from them. In 2009, when the Mavericks swept the Lakers, their fans stole a page from hockey fans and sang goodbye to Los Angeles. Since then, the Mavs have not seen a game of playoff basketball. This year, they hope to change that fortune and show everyone who forgot how loud their crowd can get.
9. UTAH JAZZ
2013 avg. attendance: 18,680
The Utah Jazz were able to make things interesting until the final game of the season, when they were just barely edged out of the playoffs by the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers. However, Utah played well all season through team basketball… not really having a superstar. It also had to do with their stellar play at home. Out of Utah’s 43 total wins, 30 of them came at home — that’s 69 percent of their wins. This wasn’t only because they played in their own gym; they played in front of their home fans.
Behind great ownership, the Jazz have a great fanbase. They are the only major professional sports team in Utah. This is an advantage because they are the only team the people of Utah have, and they take pride in it. Since the days of John Stockton and Karl Malone, Utah has always been a tough environment to play in because of how loud their fans get, as well as the thin air. Jazz fans will even testify that they are the loudest in the NBA. Oh, and you wouldn’t want to mess with their team mascot, either.
8. BOSTON CELTICS
2013 avg. attendance: 18,624
No other team has as much heart and history as the Boston Celtics. The same goes for their fans, which have carried the “Celtic Pride” slogan for decades. With the most championships of any team in NBA history, Boston fans have not had a great deal to complain about. As they enter the post-Paul Pierce era, rebuilding may be tough, but don’t expect the fans to hide. As many people expect the Celtics to be a lottery team, they will still be fun to watch with their plethora of young players.
The core of young players in Boston will have to do most of their damage at home again — as they did last season — winning 27 games at TD Bank Garden with the help of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. However, the home crowd will still be there backing them up every night.
7. SAN ANTONIO SPURS
2013 avg. attendance: 18,431
Ask any player in the NBA, and they will tell you San Antonio is one of the hardest places to win. Over the past three years, the Spurs have lost more than five games at home just one time. Their crowd is hostile, loud and loyal. One reason is that most Spurs fans have been rooting for the same group of players for extended periods of time. Tim Duncan could be the greatest to ever wear a Spurs jersey, and Tony Parker has been his sidekick every step of the way. There is nothing an NBA fan appreciates more than loyalty.
Look no further than San Antonio when it comes to loyalty and winning. Their fans show they are grateful for the hard work the Spurs put in every game by coming to their games and making it tough for opposing teams to win. Even their commentators — cough, Sean Elliott, cough — are ridiculously loyal.
6. NEW YORK KNICKS
2013 avg. attendance: 19,033
Through the dismal 2000s, the New York Knicks’ fans never went a year without supporting their Knicks, which is what make their fanbase so appealing. Along with the fact that they can be some of the more hostile fans in the league, many fans of other teams do not like Knicks fans purely because of their love for their team.
Every year, most Knicks fans expectations are blown completely out of proportion, but this is only because they want to see their team succeed. It can’t be knocked. The Knicks also held the second-best home record in the East with 31 wins in 2013.