As witnessed in Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference 2013 NBA playoffs matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets, Oracle Arena was rocking during its first playoff games since the 2007 “We Believe” season. On par or more electric than the rest of the regular season, the home court advantage provided the Warriors with their second and third wins of the series.
After failing to close out the series on the road in Denver at the Pepsi Center, Golden State returns to Oakland for a Game 6 home game and a chance to finish the series and advance in front of their loyal home crowd. As with many of the games during the playoffs this postseason, home-court advantage has played a big role in the outcome of games. Game 6 should be no different for the Warriors, as Oracle Arena could be the deciding factor for the No. 6 seed finishing off the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.
As seen in the Warriors’ first two home games of the series, the Oracle Arena crowd displayed unwavering support for the home team. From fast break scores to Stephen Curry’s 3-pointers to Andrew Bogut’s spiteful dunks, exciting plays generated noise and appreciation by the fans in attendance for the Warriors.
In the Warriors’ Game 5 loss, while they were able to cut a 20-point halftime lead to single digits, the Pepsi Center crowd was treated to many flashy, exciting plays (Kenneth Faried and Andre Iguodala dunks as well as Wilson Chandler 3’s come to mind). High elevation aside, the increasing buildup of the crowd hindered the Warriors and aided the Nuggets in this must-win scenario. As the series once again shifts back to the Bay Area, the Warriors will instead see their home crowd react with the same kind of excitement for their big momentum-shifting plays.
Oracle Arena has always been regarded as one of the better basketball crowds in the league. With a big series-clinching home game against a tough Nuggets team, the Warriors’ homecoming could very well be the x-factor leading Golden State to the playoffs’ first major upset.
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