Teams play all season for home court advantage in the playoffs. With multiple injuries down the stretch, the Celtics have seen it slipping away from them this season. No one can seem to stop the Cavs and the Celtics are losing to teams they clearly should beat. The Cavs and Celtics will likely meet in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs have lost only one game on their court all season. The last team to be that dominant on their home court was the 1985-86 Celtics who finished the season with just one loss on their home court and went on to win the Championship. Going back to last year, Neither the Celtics nor the Cavs have been able to win on the others' home court.
The Celtics have conceded home court to the Cavs this season and say that being healthy is much more important to them than home court. So, is home court advantage crucial or overrated? Bob Cousy seems to think that it is overrated. From the Globe:
But the recent injuries and setbacks remind Bob Cousy of the 1968-69 Celtics team that finished the regular season with a 48-34 record and went on to win the NBA title.
Home-court advantage, Cousy believes, is overrated.
"It is neutralized in the playoffs, pretty much," Cousy said from Florida in a telephone interview. "In the playoffs, any player worth his salt comes to play wherever the game is. Of course, you would rather have home-court advantage, but it's easier to overcome in the playoffs than the regular season."
In case you forgot, the Celtics finished 4th in the East that season and with heart, grit and the will to win, they won the championship.
And while we are looking back, what about the 1974 NBA Finals? In that series, the road team won 5 games including the last 4 in the series. In the 2008 playoffs, the Celtics had home court advantage throughout the playoffs yet lost home court to Detroit in the EC semi-finals when the Pistons won the second game in Boston and the Celtics needed to win on the road and did. The Celtics also won a game in LA. So, while home court is good to have, history has shown that it is very possible to win a championship without it.