Photo: Getty Images/Spencer Platt
Last season, Deron Williams was disgruntled with the Nets’ lack of a home court advantage while they were playing in Newark, N.J. at the Prudential centre.The lack of fan support nearly pushed the Brooklyn Nets point guard right out the door following the season. The Nets were last in the league in attendance (13,691) last year and finished 22-44 with only nine wins coming at home.
But a move to the new $1 billion Barclays centre is destined to rejuvenate the Nets. Several of those newfound advantages will take shape for the Nets tonight when they take on the Washington Wizards in the first NBA game at the arena.
For one, it’s clear that there has been a wealth of support about the team’s move to the borough. There’s no doubt there have been critics, but the attendance should not suffer because of that.
The other advantage may have to do with the construction of the arena itself.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the arena has a specialised lighting system for basketball games that emits a radiated light down over the court and nowhere else. It’s a system that will be unique to the Barclays centre and the Staples centre.
And with that, familiarity could play a role, St. Thomas University basketball coach and psychology professor John Tauer told the Journal. Elements such as depth perception when shooting against a dark background could have an effect on opposing teams.
“If you introduce something that’s unique and provides a challenge for teams that they don’t see at other arenas, it could provide an advantage,” John Tauer said.
Both those advantages could decay over time as the Nets’ on-court performance dictates fan support and as opposing teams get used to playing in the new arena. But after the recent dismal years in New Jersey, the Nets should be ecstatic at the prospect of any possible new advantage.
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