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Who is the NBA’s greatest Road Warrior?

Miami Heat forward LeBron James gestures to a fan in the crowd during the second half of their NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center in Minneapolis April 1, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Miller (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

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.

# Name EPM-H EPM-A % BETTER
1 Kevin Garnett 0.627 0.700 -11.5%
2 Joakim Noah 0.573 0.635 -10.7%
3 Al Jefferson 0.594 0.652 -9.7%
4 Lebron James 0.707 0.769 -8.6%
5 Kevin Martin 0.537 0.579 -7.8%
6 Andrew Bogut 0.541 0.569 -5.1%
7 Paul Millsap 0.590 0.611 -3.6%
8 John Wall 0.476 0.485 -1.7%
9 Steve Nash 0.630 0.632 -0.3%
10 Raymond Felton 0.491 0.492 -0.2%
11 Dwyane Wade 0.667 0.668 -0.1%
12 Gerald Wallace 0.486 0.486 -0.1%
13 Carlos Boozer 0.624 0.620 0.7%
14 Luis Scola 0.605 0.600 0.9%
15 Dirk Nowitzki 0.689 0.679 1.5%
16 Dwight Howard 0.759 0.747 1.6%
17 Paul Pierce 0.576 0.564 2.0%
18 Josh Smith 0.603 0.588 2.5%
19 Brook Lopez 0.531 0.517 2.6%
20 Kobe Bryant 0.639 0.621 2.8%
21 Derrick Rose 0.630 0.606 3.9%
22 Stephen Curry 0.586 0.561 4.3%
23 Tim Duncan 0.705 0.674 4.4%
24 Manu Ginobili 0.601 0.575 4.4%
25 Lamar Odom 0.626 0.594 5.1%
26 Kevin Love 0.812 0.770 5.2%
27 Rudy Gay 0.512 0.479 6.5%
28 Russell Westbrook 0.671 0.615 8.4%
29 Kevin Durant 0.669 0.609 8.9%
30 Zach Randolph 0.707 0.640 9.5%
31 Chris Bosh 0.591 0.534 9.6%
32 Danny Granger 0.533 0.479 10.1%
33 Carmelo Anthony 0.668 0.597 10.6%
34 Amare Stoudemire 0.708 0.628 11.3%
35 Nene Hilario 0.680 0.600 11.7%
36 Elton Brand 0.595 0.524 11.8%
37 Rajon Rondo 0.544 0.479 11.9%
38 Pau Gasol 0.729 0.642 11.9%
39 Chris Paul 0.683 0.597 12.7%
40 David West 0.624 0.542 13.2%
41 Al Horford 0.686 0.592 13.6%
42 David Lee 0.627 0.538 14.3%
43 Deron Williams 0.654 0.550 15.9%
44 Andrew Bynum 0.728 0.606 16.8%
45 Tony Parker 0.616 0.512 16.8%
46 Lamarcus Aldridge 0.639 0.523 18.1%
47 Andre Iguodala 0.552 0.448 18.9%
48 Eric Gordon 0.516 0.410 20.4%
49 Blake Griffin 0.753 0.597 20.7%
50 Monta Ellis 0.584 0.417 28.6%

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.

Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett stands on the court during a timeout in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center in Chicago on April 7, 2011. The Bulls won 97-81. UPI/Brian Kersey

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.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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