In no other sport does home court advantage matter more than NBA basketball. With the crowd sitting so close to players that they can have a conversation (or give them a not-so-friendly wave, as this woman reminded everyone during Game 2 of the Bulls-Heat matchup last week), playing on the road is like having 20,000 people trying to swat down your shot with sonic insults. In a game of runs and momentum shifts, a team that tosses down a monster dunk and moves the home fans into a state of pandemonium can take over a game.
But is there such a thing as a home court disadvantage?—you know, where the fans arrive late and yawn during the action (assuming they show up at all). Such venues can make the opposing team feel like they're playing a low-energy scrimmage in their practice facility.
Here are the toughest, and easiest, places to play in this year's NBA Playoffs.