How relevant are home/away splits for NBA players? If you run the trend over the entire NBA, you will see a modest boost in production for teams playing at home. There are even certains teams that receive a decent bump when playing the host. As we’ll see in this article though, there are several players with large home/away splits that should be noted and utilized. I tried to stick to only “relevant” players, although that is an ever-evolving classification.
First, let’s look at the anomalies. Here are a few players who perform better on the road than at home:
What the heck is going on with Kyle Lowry and can those numbers really be right? Here is his split posted below. He’s averaged close to six DraftKings points per game more on the road than at home since the start of the 2014-2015 season:
By looking a little bit deeper, Lowry averages more assists at home (7.1 vs 6.4), but more points on the road (20.5 vs 15.1). Lowry’s role changes from facilitator to primary scoring option when the Raptors are the visiting team. Toronto was a much better team at home last season (won 68% of their home games), perhaps suggesting Lowry looks for his shot more often when his team is in catch-up mode.
Similarly, Jimmy Butler’s assists and rebounds per-game numbers stay pretty constant whether he is playing at home or on the road, but he averages close to 3.5 more points per game on the road. Whereas Lowry just looks for his shot more often on the road while keeping his shooting percentage numbers relatively even, Butler just seems to shoot the ball better away from the United Center. Both his field goal and free throw percentages are 2-3 points higher on the road.
Next, let’s look at players who are better at home and have clearly defined splits:
Players like Westbrook and Cousins do play better at home, but are just monsters either way. What’s more interesting to me are the players who help you at home, but hurt you on the road. While Butler plays a little worse at home, Rose and Mirotic are both there to pick up the production and vice versa.
Klay Thompson represents one of the more widely known home/away splits and the numbers back it up. Think some players don’t have favorite arenas to shoot in? Take a look at Klay Thompson’s FG% splits, courtesy of Statmuse:
That leads us to the final category – players who average more than four DraftKings points per game at home:
• Rubio admittedly hasn’t been on the court too much over the past couple of years, so as the sample size increases,it will be interesting to see if his split remains large.
• Ryan Anderson, however, has logged a decent number of games and has a split of almost eight points, earning him honors of splittiest player.
• KCP and Danny Green are other players whose FG% suffer when they hit the road.
• MCW actually played more minutes away from home, but his ungodly FG% (38.7%), FT% (64.6%), and TO (4.0) per game numbers on the road torpedo his value.
Admittedly, this is a lot of information to keep track of. Luckily, if you setup a couple of trends, you can be alerted automatically when one of these players is in a good spot. If you want to duplicate the trends, here they are:
Plus/Minus Over +4 At Home:
Players Who Play Better On The Road: