In general, NBA players play better at home. That’s a fact. The Top 250 players (in terms of total minutes played this season) are 6.3% better in Efficiency Per Minute (EPM) when playing at home.
But as with anything in life, there are exceptions to this rule. There are certain players who, for whatever reason, play better on the road.
The table below shows the Top 50 players (in terms of Efficiency Per Game), along with both their home and away EPM, and the “percent better” they are when playing at home. If the number is negative, the player actually performs better on the road.
So Kevin Garnett wins this year’s first annual Road Warrior Award since he plays 11.5% better on the road than he does at home. This is not shocking given his mental toughness and ability to thrive off the negativity of the crowd. Joakim Noah, Al Jefferson, LeBron James, Kevin Martin and Andrew Bogut played significantly better on the road than they did at home this season.
Bulls fans should be happy to see Derrick Rose (#21), Carlos Boozer (#13) and Joakim Noah (#2) all in the upper half. That would imply that Chicago’s stars have the mental makeup to win on the road, and that will come in handy in the postseason.
On the flip side, Monta Ellis really struggled on the road this season. He averaged 6.4 fewer points and shot 6.2% worse from the field away from home. Moreover, he was almost 10% worse from long range on the road. He wins our Home Cookin’ Award in a landslide.
Two Clippers show up next, with Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin rounding out spots #48 and #49, respectively. Gordon averaged 1.8 fewer points on the road, which isn’t a whole lot, but his shooting accuracy dropped 4.3% away from home. Griffin averaged 4.2 fewer points and while his FG% dropped 5.5% on the road. These two players are going to have to play better away from home if the Clippers are going to become a perennial playoff team.