Denver and Utah have an altitude advantage. There is less oxygen in the air, and visiting teams can fell it when they play. It is often used by those teams with a fast-paced style of play to push the opponent's bodies to the max.
LA and Miami have a different kind of advantage, one that also pushes the body. Imagine you are on an east coast tour, Milwaukee, Indiana, Charlotte. You are 24, athletic, making millions of dollars and your last stop is in Miami. Is there a scenario where you don't end up in a club surrounded by beautiful women (or men, whatever gets you going)? Generations of NBA players can speak of LA and Miami losses. Phoenix and Atlanta allegedly also have something to say in this regard. With everything else, it seems millennials are also changing this.
In an article for The Athletic, Mike Vorkunov explored how the Knicks are working on recovery and emphasizing the importance of sleep. The hectic work schedule of an NBA player makes it hard to get good sleep. In the end, coach Fizdale throws out an interesting quote:
“‘Fortnite,’ that’s my competitor right now,” Fizdale said. “‘Fortnite’ is tougher than the Boston Celtics.”
“‘Fortnite’ is undefeated.”
It seems we need to start talking about Fortnite losses. In the past not every city had a vibrant nightlife that would draw players out of their 9 hours of sober sleep and turn it in 5 hours of bad, alcohol and clubbing sleep. Nowadays, all the players need is a stable internet connection, and they can be playing with anyone around the world.
We've seen this with a lot of young players.
The video stream of Towns and Simmons playing at night, Towns said he has to go and get sleep because they are playing Atlanta the next day...then Simmons saying he can play one, it's only Atlanta.
KAT was talking on Twitch how he and Wiggins played 'till 6 AM before a game in Indiana.
Steven Adams letting people know of his score on Twitter.
LA Laker Josh Hart hosted more than one gaming marathon and rocked Fortnite kicks in a game.
All around the league, players are not hooking up with parties on road trips but are hooking up their gaming systems and playing Fortnite until the early AM. In a way, they are in a more protected environment so you know they won't end up on TMZ. But, this still comes at a cost to their athletic performance.
Gaming can be addictive; time flies when you play, and it significantly affects the quality of sleep. Blue light is one of the things teams are trying to limit as much as possible as it affects the quality of sleep. Staring into a screen for hours playing a game designed to keep you wanting one more game is not a desirable habit to develop. It is as detrimental as sugar and alcohol are.
Out of all the "back in my day" arguments, can't wait to hear Chuck and Shaq comment on this one. I got ten bucks saying it won't be politically correct.