Re-evaluating Home Court Advantage

I don’t have the stats (although it would be interesting to pull those up) but with a more level Western Conference, home-court advantage may need to be redone.

The current playoff format goes H-H-A-A-H-A-H (H for home, A for away). The idea is that the team with home court advantage will win the first 2 games at home, and the head start gives them an advantage.

Now that the Western Conference is so much more competitive and the playing field has leveled out, I almost expect teams to split the first two games. When the first two games are split, the road team now regains home court advantage.

Logistics aside, the teams with the better record should be able to choose whether or not they play the first two games at home or their first two games on the road, similar to how NFL teams can choose to kick first or receive first. The alternate playoff format would then go A-A-H-H-A-H-H. Having games 6 and 7 together may be too big of an advantage for the home-team, but it is better for the higher-seeded team to actually have a home court advantage instead of the lower-seeded team having an advantage because of the nature of the series.

I will take a look at some past playoff series to see how teams fare after a 1-1 series start, but having an option to choose playoff format could be an interesting possibility.

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