Everybody is talking about the fact that Utah is great at home and not nearly as great on the road.
It has been seen as a negative. Then win 90% of games at home, and 41% of games on the road.
My first thought is: it quite possibly doesn't matter. First of all, those numbers are against the whole league, but a playoff series is against just one team (in this case, the Houston Rockets). Besides, the Jazz a good enough team to get themselves into big must-win games at the end of a series, and then it will turn on lots of little factors beyond geography.
However, the knee-jery thought is -- wow, they don't have home court advantage. They have to win on the road. And they are so much worse on the road. They're doomed.
But Adam Hoff at Section F Sports has a smart notion: if you're going to take anything from those numbers, take the idea that they are very unlikely to lose at home. And you only have to win one on the road to take a seven-game series.
Not to state the obvious, but 90 is a lot closer to 100 than 41 is to zero. In other words, isn't it far more likely that Utah will win all of its home games in a given series than it is that they will lose all of their road games? Which scenario would you rather bank on?
- A team with a 41% chance of winning road games going 0-4 on the road
- A team with a 90% chance of winning home games going 2-1 at home
- A team with a 90% chance of winning home games going 3-0 at home and with a 41% chance of winning road games going at least 1-3 on the road
Me, I'm taking the third option because it hews closest to the established percentages.