Milwaukee Bucks: The impact of home-court advantage without fans

Dec 25, 2020; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Nick Monroe/Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 25, 2020; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Nick Monroe/Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports) /

Although it is early, the impact of no fans and home-court advantage has already started to show itself for the Milwaukee Bucks.

For a team that had the best regular season record in two consecutive seasons, homecourt advantage and the presence of fans has been crucial for the Milwaukee Bucks.

When the NBA announced that they elect to play out the season in empty arenas, many wondered what this would do to the legitimacy of homecourt advantage. Although arenas have tried their best to replicate games’ authenticity with engineered crowd noise, players have often discussed how playing in fanless games often feels like a pickup game.

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A few examples might be opposing players no longer get heckled when they head to the free-throw line or the missing excitement from the home-crowd after a breakaway slam. However, the biggest, of course, remains looking up at the thousands of empty seats.

While this is a topic that will continue to trend throughout the season, particularly when the postseason gets closer, the Bucks have shared their thought on how this situation might impact home-court advantage.

The Bucks are currently in the middle of a five-game homestand at Fiserv Forum, which prompted several questions about the uncertainty surrounding this season during Sunday’s media availability. Head coach Mike Budenholzer spoke first, detailing how he believes homecourt will be a real advantage down the road:

"“I mean, it’s so early. I don’t know if there’s already some statistical data to this point in the schedule that there hasn’t been much home home-court advantage. My guess is that going forward, or you play out a 70-game, 72-game schedule, whether it be travel or just all the benefits that the home team has in their practice facility and being at home and that kind of comfort level, there will be a homecourt advantage to some degree.”"

Mike Budenholzer made a great point about homecourt advantage, and one of his players is right there with him.

Coaching is one thing, but what about the players that suit up on a nightly basis? Well, third-year guard Donte DiVincenzo echoed a similar statement but assured that this season is far different than last year’s short stint in the ‘bubble’ at Walt Disney World, which was a neutral site:

"“I wouldn’t say it will be a neutral site, but I wouldn’t go as far as what it was last year before we shut down. I think there’s still an advantage because you’re in your normal routine. You’re at home, you’re doing your normal routine, you’re doing your normal stuff. You’re not going back to a hotel, seeing the same team that you’re playing. You’re around your family, you’re around these guys in the facility. There is an advantage, but I wouldn’t say as much as what it was last year or the year before that.”"

It is certainly compelling to get perspectives of players and coaches alike in what has been such an irregular set of circumstances. Thus far, it is far too early to tell how substantial the implications of empty arenas are, but the Bucks are 3-0 at Fiserv Forum this season, if that says anything.

Next. Milwaukee Bucks: Mike Budenholzer continues rotation experiments. dark

It appears that everything is business as usual for Mike Budenholzer, Donte DiVincenzo, and the rest of the Milwaukee Bucks as they remain focused on this current homestand.