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Playoffs Update

June 2, 2022

Tonight the NBA final to be contested by the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics commences.

Meanwhile one game in each NHL semi-final series has been played.

The New York Rangers scored 6 goals and the Colorado Avalanche allowed 6 goals, each team winning a home semi-final opening game.

Colorado is only (2-6) in previous “semis,” (0-2) as the Quebec Nordiques. Only in 2001, when they won their second and to date last title, did “Col” win both its home “semi” opener and said semi-final series. 

It is even more “pronounced” regarding the New York Rangers, who have home advantage in a semi for the third time in their last four “semis” (had in ’15 and ’12, not in ’14) but for just the fourth time in 18 semis, dating back to 1950.

They opened a semi on the road 12 straight times also dating back to 1950 when they also last won both a home semi-final round opening game and that semi-final series.

In the NBA, the home team has prevailed in 15 of the last 16 final round opening games, (’05-2021 with the 2020 game(s) played in a so called “bubble.” Only the 2013 San Antonio Spurs won a final round opening game on the road in that span and they lost that final in 7 to the Miami Heat.

Detroit (Pistons) in 2004 were the last team to both win a road final round opening game and win the crown.

In 10 of the previous 11 Warriors’ final round opening games, the home team won 10 with the Warriors going (7-0) at home and (1-3) on the road. 

“G.S.” is the only team among the 32 ‘offs participants in the NBA and NHL that is unbeaten at home (9-0) and advanced at least one round. (The Bruins were (3-0) at home but lost in 7 to Carolina, which in turn took a (7-0) home record into a #7 “qtrs” loss to the Rangers, who now have won a franchise record 7 straight home ‘offs games).


The great player, Rick Barry, pictured above led the Warriors to both the lone road team win by either team in a Warriors’ final and the subsequent series win in 1975.

In reflection I treasure an interview I conducted with Mr. Barry at the 1987-1988 season NBA “Hall” game, in which he talked about a late non call that went against his Warriors in the ’67 final, an eventual first title win for Wilt Chamberlain. A great Sixers’ team won that series in 6 games, winning a close 6th in S.F. after failing to clinch on TV in a home 5th. 


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