But one thing is going to be strangely different this post-season and that will be the lack of home court advantage.
The NBA will be playing all games in Orlando, so no travel and more importantly...no opposing crowds.
I think that may give the Miami Heat a distinct advantage, no necessarily over another team, but a more even opportunity for some of their young players. The Heat start two players who have no playoff experience: Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson. Bam Adebayo has 5 playoff games under his belt as a reserve rookie. On the bench you have rookie Tyler Herro. Derrick Jones Jr. has never played in a playoff game. Those are key rotational pieces who have no playoff experience, haven’t seen playoff crowds, and haven’t faced the pressure.
Remove the crowds, the travel, and you have a gym to play basketball in. Whether they are prepared, better, or not is to be determined. But what should not be an issue is any disadvantage because they are playing in a hostile environment.
Considering the Heat’s difference in quality of play between home and away this season, hopefully a neutral site would help them be consistent.
There is always a playoff learning curve playing against the same opponent over and over. But I think, above many other teams that this could be an advantage for the Heat. Obviously the Heat will miss their 27-5 home record and what good that could have done them in the postseason, but this will give you a real good glimpse of what the Heat are made of.
The NBA is aiming to return on July 30.