How Much Do Fans Actually Impact Wins in the NBA?

In hearing all of the theories thrown around as to why the mid-majors are having so much success in the NCAA Tournament, with the prevailing one being “there aren’t any fans to cheer on the top seeds” to be sounds silly. But who knows…maybe those people are right…well, I took this fascination to the world of the pros…Did you know?

(As reported by Bleacher The NBA has the widest home-court advantage among the major North American sports, with the home team winning 56-58 percent of all games in any given season. In the playoffs, it's even more stark, with the home team winning 65 percent of all games since 1984.

Determining why has long been a source of fascination for coaches, players, trainers, psychologists, economists, statisticians and, well, everyone else.

The bubble gave us no indication of the value of fans, because there were none. And it was hard to quantify travel, because there was none. Locker room familiarity…nope, none of that either. There was no home court advantage AND no away court disadvantage.

Well, what about this year? Remember, the average pre-pandemic for an NBA home team was 56%. In crunching the numbers for where we stand right now, in a season with little to no fans, we’re at 53% for the home teams. So, assuming this is all the data you need…fans are worth 3% to your overall win percentage.

Charlotte Hornets v Washington Wizards

photo: getty images

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