Imagine it is the 2015-16 NBA season. The Golden State Warriors are in a (rare) tight game heading into the third quarter — then, all of a sudden, Stephen Curry hits consecutive 3-pointers. The Bay Area crowd begins to roar as “Warriors” chants fill the arena. Everyone knows what typically happens next.
That feeling, the wave of momentum that comes from a frenzy of fans supporting their team — has not been felt by the Warriors in far too long. In part due to injuries in 2019 and the ongoing pandemic which has limited the number of attendees in each game.
The NBA is expecting this to change this season. As COVID-19 rages on at a horrifying rate — the plan seems to be opening things up, anyways. The Warriors have already announced you will need to be vaccinated to attend a game as they look to pack the arena once more.
Having fans back in the stands will be an absolute game-changer for the Golden State Warriors as they look ahead to the future.
There is no hard-hitting evidence that proves the Warriors will benefit any more than the next team from having fans back in the stands. However, one would assume the history of Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green feeding on that energy will mean something moving forward.
From the 2014-15 season to their last NBA Finals run in 2019, the Warriors hold a record of 173-32 when playing at home. In their five playoff appearances during this time the Dubs went 45-11 at home.
This trend is fairly similar to how the rest of the league fairs at home. There is a reason it’s considered an advantage to play in front of your own crowd and the Dubs will regain perhaps the biggest advantage in the basketball from their fans next year.
Imagine the reaction to Klay Thompson making his return to the floor in front of a rabid crowd. Are you excited to see Kevin Durant play his first game in a packed Bay arena since his 2019 departure? What about a classic Curry versus LeBron James showdown on opening night?
The fans returning to basketball is great for everyone. It just might be even better for the Warriors. After all, who cheers for their team harder than Dubs’ fans?