The world’s most famous arena has never been so great for Tennant.
The Knicks have been performing poorly at home for the second season in a row, making it hard to think of this as a coincidence. Their latest loss on Friday night became the latest and most glaring example: after winning twice in Chicago, they lost to the Bulls at Madison Square Garden less than a week later.
Heading into the MSG Christmas showdown with the Sixers, the Knicks are 8-9 at home and 10-6 on the road. This is the worst ratio in the NBA and follows last season’s second-lowest home win ratio (worse only for the Brooklyn Nets, who were only on the road because Kyrie Irving refused to vaccinate. It should be noted that the NBA creates the greatest home advantage of any of America’s major professional sports.
RJ Barrett echoed a common excuse on Friday — one Jalen Brunson made earlier — that opponents are simply more motivated to play for MSG.
“If you were the team that came to the garden, I’d be excited to play,” Barrett said. We have to prepare ourselves from the start of the game so as not to give them confidence.”
If that’s true, it’s hard to understand why previous Knicks teams didn’t have this problem. We won almost 50%. This was about the same as the NBA’s average ratio during that period.
Still, recent evidence suggests Barrett and Branson may be on to something.Without the fans and their noise, the garden’s atmosphere and charm are lost. And when the fans were away during his 2020-21 season during the pandemic, the Knicks went great at home, where he went 25-11.
Tom Thibodeau cited the schedule and alluded to metropolitan traffic as a challenge. I’m shooting bad shots.
There are usually four reasons why home courts are favorable. Movement is tiring for visitors. Referees tend to favor the home team. Fans support the home team. Players will feel more comfortable on their court.
“Sometimes it can’t be helped. Sometimes that’s how the schedule unfolds,” said Thibodeau. “You may be at a disadvantage for the rest. You can have an early start. A lot of things. So you want to control everything you can. Right now, we have some logistical challenges, too. LA.” , Chicago, New York, we’re dealing with different things.Brooklyn—the same thing.It’s part of life.Get ready to play.That’s the big thing.”
The Elephant in the Room is a practice facility located next to Regeneron headquarters in Tarrytown. About a 30-mile drive from Madison Square Garden, the commute takes him an hour, depending on traffic. The Knicks often have morning shootarounds at the facility before meeting up at MSG to play a few hours later, as many of the players live in White Plains, which is close to the facility.
Instead of sleeping at home, Knicks players would sometimes stay at a hotel in Manhattan the night before a home game.
Whatever the reason, the Knicks need to play half the game at MSG and get better.
“We’re playing the game. We have to finish better at home,” Branson said.