road-versus-home numbers in the NBA are as out of sync as any statistics in
sports. Two teams—the Lakers and the Celtics—finished with winning records on
the road in 1987-88 season. (The Lakers were 26-15; the Celtics were just
21-20.) All but four of the teams finished with winning records at home. Home
teams won 640 games, road teams 303. That's a winning percentage of .679, which
is just about the norm over the 42-year history of the league.
How do you fight
those kinds of numbers? How do you change? What do you do?
"Nothing," says Layden. "This is great for the league. Every home
crowd is happy. You make it so every home team wins every game. Everyone gets
in the playoffs, tied with the same record. You set up the brackets,
best-of-seven series. Each series goes seven games. You flip a coin to see who
hosts the final game."
Every team wins every home game? Isn't that the way it is now?
You could ponder
all this, but the hour is late. The game is finished. You'll hurry back to the
hotel. You'll stare at the ceiling in your sterile room while your motors
continue to run. You'll drift toward sleep for an instant and then awaken with
a radio jolt. Dawn. The next bus will be waiting, the next airport, the next
game. And the next. And the next.