NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 26: An exterior view of Madison Square Garden prior to the game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers on November 26, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Hey, here's a thing. Over at the Wall Street Journal, Michael Salfino pointed out that, since the beginning of last season, the Knicks have been relatively solid in games on the road, yet relatively weak in Madison Square Garden. The overall numbers over the last 98 games:
Since Amar'e Stoudemire joined the team in 2010, the Knicks are barely .500 at home (26-24), a .520 winning percentage that compares unfavorably to the NBA average since 2010 of .607 (through Saturday). Most frustrating for Knicks fans is the strength the team has shown on the road in the period—22-26, the 11th best road winning percentage in the NBA.
As one would expect, all teams have performed better at home than on the road, but Salfino goes on to show that the narrow home court advantage described above gives New York the second-lowest home/road disparity in the league since opening night of 2010-2011 (their winning percentage is just .06 better at the Garden). This season alone, the Knicks are 3-6 at home (24th in the league), but 3-4 on the road (12th) after ranking 18th at home and 10th on the road last season.
So, that's troubling. One likes to think of the Garden as a great home environment, though it's also developed a reputation as a showcase for career games from the opposition. But yo, this can be fixed. Just make the Knicks get on a plane and fly around a bit the night before each game (landing at a different local airport every time), put them all up in a different hotel each night and drive them to the game on the team bus, tip off two or three hours later, encourage Garden fans to continue booing as usual, and maybe even given them an extra free soda voucher if they jeer in the regional patois of the opposing team's hometown (Examples: "Defense, y'all!", "That was a hella foul, dude!" [begin jerkin'], "Yes okay there is basketball I am a Utahn."). Bring the road home! Problem solved!