There was plenty to love about the 2007 "We Believe" playoff run by the Golden State Warriors. They won in unorthodox fashion, Don Nelson stuck it to his former employer, and of course, as a No. 8-seeded underdog, they topped the supposed monster that was the No. 1-seeded Dallas Mavericks.
Among the stages for this shocking turn of events was Oracle Arena, the stadium the Warriors call home. During that playoff run, the fans turned Oracle into a house of horrors not only for the Mavericks, but for everyone else who would have to play in Oakland.
The fans had always been great at Oracle despite the plethora of losing seasons. But finally getting to the playoffs after a 13-year layoff sent Bay Area citizens into a frenzy. The mixture of love and passion for everything Warriors gave birth to the place now known as "Roaracle."
Fast forward six years later and the roster is completely overhauled—except, of course, Andris Biedrins. There's a new coach, general manager and ownership group.
What hasn't changed? The fans.
When asked how he would describe the Oracle Arena crowd this postseason, rookie Kent Bazemore eloquently said, "It's like college on steroids."
The crowd continues to proudly wear the bright yellow shirts that cause a scary sun-like reflection surrounding the court. Most importantly, they continue to make noise—a lot of it.
"You can't even hear yourself think. You can't call out plays—which sometimes is good, sometimes isn't so good," described radio host and former Warrior Tom Tolbert. "But as far as basketball being an adrenaline sport, it helps you maybe give that little extra effort on defense, helps you get back in transition—you can feel the energy kind of pulsating through your body."
It's almost impossible for the players not to feed off the energy from the crowd noise. Having one person encourage and support you is usually enough, but having 19,000-plus fans on their feet almost trying to will you to victory is a lot like having a sixth man on the court.
Bazemore joked that the crowd would be breaking the sound barrier. I can still hear faintly after Game 3, so that didn't come to fruition, but it did get extremely loud.
After Andrew Bogut's one-handed hammer over Boris Diaw, the decibel level got up to a staggering 112 decibels. For reference, that is somewhere between the noise of a power saw (110 decibels) and a loud rock concert (115 decibels). Physical pain to the ears begins at 125 decibels. If Bogut threw it down with two hands, it just might have gotten painful.
The Oracle Arena crowd is just a completely different place when the Warriors are succeeding. Take Friday night vs. the Spurs for example: 16 minutes before tipoff, the fans started a booming, "Let's go Warriors!"
No baskets had been scored, no passes completed, and they didn't need to be for these fans to show their love and support for this team. Tony Parker described the fans at Oracle as some "of the best in the NBA." It's really hard to argue with him on that.
Although Golden State is currently down 2-1 to San Antonio, you can bet that the Spurs are concerned about this team because of their tremendous home-court advantage. The crowd can swing momentum back into the Warriors' favor at any given moment.
Given how scarily efficient and skilled the Spurs are, the Warriors may need all the help they can get.