NBA Standings ordered by win percentage at home: Do the Kings really have a home-court advantage?

San Antonio Spurs v Sacramento Kings
San Antonio Spurs v Sacramento Kings / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Home-court advantage is a big deal in the NBA playoffs. Traveling, staying in a hotel, and playing in front of an unfriendly crowd just adds to all the stress of the postseason. Thus, if the chance to play at home presents itself, most teams will gladly take it. 

Not every team actually has a home-court advantage if you look at the records and win percentages, however.

Eastern Conference Standings ordered by win percentage at home

  1. Boston Celtics: .906 win%, 29-3 record
  2. Milwaukee Bucks: .781 win%, 25-7 record
  3. Orlando Magic: .724 win%, 21-8 record
  4. Cleveland Cavaliers: .667 win%, 22-11 record
  5. New York Knicks: .636 win%, 21-12 record
  6. Indiana Pacers: .606 win%, 20-13 record
  7. Miami Heat: .567 win%, 17-13 record
  8. Philadelphia 76ers: .559 win%, 19-15 record
  9. Chicago Bulls: .516 win%, 16-15 record
  10. Atlanta Hawks: .500 win%, 16-16 record
  11. Brooklyn Nets: .471 win%, 16-18 record
  12. Toronto Raptors: .406 win%, 13-19 record
  13. Charlotte Hornets: .281 win%, 9-23 record
  14. Detroit Pistons: .181 win%, 5-26 record
  15. Washington Wizards: .135 win%, 4-26 record

Western Conference Standings ordered by win percentage at home

  1. Denver Nuggets: .813 win%, 26-6 record
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder: .806 win%, 25-6 record
  3. Minnesota Timberwolves: .742 win%, 23-8 record
  4. LA Clippers: .733 win%, 22-8 record
  5. Los Angeles Lakers: .676 win%, 23-11 record
  6. Houston Rockets: .656 win%, 21-11 record
  7. Utah Jazz: .613 win%, 19-12 record
  8. Sacramento Kings: .607 win%, 17-11 record 
  9. New Orleans Pelicans: .600 win%, 18-12 record
  10. Phoenix Suns: .600 win%, 21-14 record
  11. Dallas Mavericks: .559 win%, 19-15 record
  12. Golden State Warriors: .500 win%, 17-17 record
  13. Portland Trail Blazers: .313 win%, 10-22 record
  14. San Antonio Spurs: .250 win%, 7-21 record
  15. Memphis Grizzlies: .219 win%, 7-25 record

Do the Kings really have a home-court advantage?

With a 17-11 record, the Kings have not fared badly at Golden 1 Center overall, but they also had some of their worst losses there. Their huge losses to the Celtics (144-119), the Hornets (111-104), the Pelicans (133-100), the Pistons (133-120), the short-handed Heat (121-110), and the injury-ridden Bulls (113-109) all happened in Sacramento. 

One reason for this is that the Kings’ defensive rating is much worse at home than on the road. With a defensive rating of 118.7, they are the second-worst home defense in the league. On the road, they are currently at 114.8, which ranks eleventh and is not too bad for a team that is not known in any way for its defense. 

The Kings’ offense is generally better at home but in the postseason, defense becomes incredibly important. You cannot hope to simply outscore opponents, who can gameplan for you, four times in a best-of-seven series. The West is filled with some of the best scorers in the league, and the Kings need to slow them down if they want to win a series. 

Last season, the playoff atmosphere at Golden 1 Center was amazing, and it won’t be any different this postseason. It is not a great place to play in for opposing teams, and the Kings would love to win in front of their own fans as often as possible. 

Looking at the numbers, it might not be the worst if the Kings ended up without home-court advantage in the postseason. 

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