Home court advantage is a super important factor in playoff series. Can the Houston Rockets protect it once again and go up 2-0 in their opening round series against the Jazz?
The Houston Rockets looked dominant in their 32-point win over the Jazz in Game 1 of the series on Sunday night. They destroyed the defense that Utah put out there and played some incredible defense of their own as well. Whatever the Jazz were doing, the Rockets had a counter.
They also did it in front of a pumped-up crowd at Toyota Center thanks to having home court advantage in the series. Barring a major upset from the Warriors, the Rockets will not have that luxury in the next round should they advance past Utah.
Houston will have the opportunity to protect their home floor once again tonight as they try to get the series up to 2-0 in their favor. Ricky Rubio of the Jazz has already stated that they will be implementing a similar strategy on the defensive end as it is their game plan for the series. Houston has to take advantage of that and win these games.
Home court advantage is a very interesting thing in the playoffs. It was big in the early rounds last year as Houston got to close out the first two at home. Having that advantage also gave them the best opportunity to beat the Warriors last year with the decisive seventh game coming at Toyota Center.
Daryl Morey has repeatedly talked about the importance of home court advantage. Unfortunately, with the rough ending to the regular season, this is probably the last opportunity for it. As the fourth seed, it would take some upsets from the lower seeds to make it possible.
One that’s actually looking possible is the Spurs. If they continue to win and beat the Nuggets (despite the tough game last night), they’d face the winner of the Thunder and Blazers. If they win again, and the Rockets beat the Warriors (a tough task, of course), then Houston would have home court advantage in the Conference Finals.
Honestly, though, let’s just focus on winning. A good team should be able to win on the road, let’s see if the Rockets are at the same level as last year!