Finals Factors: J.A. Adande's ballot
Each expert had 100 points to apportion among five key factors. The rules stated no factor could be worth more than 50 points or less than 10 points. Each expert named a wild-card factor as well.
Click through the pages to see how the voting went.
Click below to see the ballots of our 10 writers:
• Henry Abbott, TrueHoop
Here's J.A. Adande's ballot:
(Lakers-Celtics has me feeling nostalgic, so I'm putting everything here in terms of 1980s TV shows.)
1. Kobe (48 points): It's possible this entire postseason is being played inside Kobe's head, like the kid in (spoiler alert!) the "St. Elsewhere" TV show finale. That's how in control he appears to be.
If that's the case -- or anything close to it -- Factors 2 through 6 are moot.
2. Celtics' defense (22 points): As in, they allow only 22 points per quarter in the playoffs. It's like the gunfights on "The A-Team" for the opponents -- lots of shots are taken, but none of them is deadly.
The Celtics won Game 6 in Detroit with their fourth-quarter defense. The Lakers haven't faced anything like this so far.
3. Home-court advantage (10 points): It seemed like every week on "The Wonder Years" the narrator said, "I knew then that life would never be the same." (Could there be that many life-changing experiences in junior high?)
There are, however, many transformational moments in a team's first deep playoff run, and the question is, how will this new version of the Lakers handle starting on the road for the first time?
4. Kevin Garnett (10 points): When "Night Court" first came on, Bull the bailiff seemed really intimidating. When you caught the reruns in syndication, you realized how goofy and harmless a big man he really was.
That's often been the difference between KG in the first three quarters and KG in the fourth. But he could be only four ferocious fourth quarters away from forever altering his reputation.
5. Bench battle (10 points): The Lakers have more subs who are likely to impact the game than the Celtics' reserves.
That reminds me, has any TV series had more small guest-appearance actors go on to have legit Hollywood careers than "Miami Vice"? Bruce Willis, Julia Roberts, Jimmy Smits, Wesley Snipes, Lou Diamond Phillips, John Leguizamo, Ving Rhames, Charles S. Dutton, Esai Morales, Garcelle Beauvais, Helena Bonham Carter, Giancarlo Esposito
Wild card: Game 1. It's hard to believe the series could be decided after one game, but if the Lakers win the opener, it's over.
Phil Jackson has never lost in the playoffs after his team won the first game -- he's 41-0 lifetime. His teams know how to sustain a good start to a series.
Unlike, say, "Moonlighting."
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2008 NBA FINALS
And then there were two -- the Lakers and Celtics. Who will win the NBA Finals? Let the games begin.
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• Expert predictions, clutch stats
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• MacMullan: Pierce's long road to greatness
• Hollinger: From camp to champs
• Stein: Boston's big three shine
• Adande: Questions loom over Lakers' future
• Hollinger: Celtics commit to defense
• Scouts Inc.: Game 6 breakdown
• Hollinger: Farmer steps up in Game 5
• Sheridan: Late-game letdown for Celtics
• Stein: Lakers ready to make history?
• Adande: Greatness eluding Phil and Kobe
• MacMullan: Doc adheres to dad's lessons
• Jackson: Time for L.A.'s concession speech?
• Stein: Game 4 not Kobe's finest hour
• Adande: KG dominates Gasol again
• Hollinger: Rivers makes all the right moves
• Hill: Kobe's Laker legacy on the line
• Hollinger: Vujacic lends helping hand in Game 3
• Jackson: Jump shot Jesus has returned
• Stein: Lakers need to earn sympathy
• Adande: Lakers feel foul over whistle disparity
• Jackson: Leading role suits Pierce
• Adande: Kobe turns away from the pass late
• Stein: Pierce's knee key to rest of series
• Finals factor 1: Kobe Bryant
• Finals factor 2: Celtics Defense
• Finals factor 3: Paul Pierce
• Finals factor 4: Home-court advantage
• Finals factor 5: Battle of the benches
• Hollinger: Lakers offense vs. Celtics defense
• Broussard: Turning back the clock
• Adande: How did Kobe get here?
• Scouts Inc. breakdown: Lakers vs. Celtics
• Coaching comparison: Red vs. Phil
• Smith: Kobe's moving forward
• Scoop: Fiendin' for a ring
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TrueHoop• TrueHoop: Finals reflections
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• Game 5 live blogging
• Laker nation vs. NBA refs
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• Game 2 live blogging
• Coaxing Kobe Bryant into hero mode
• Game 1 live blogging
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• Game 4 running diary
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Audio• Dish: NBA Finals recap
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