Factor No. 4 in the NBA Finals: Home-court advantage
Factor No. 4: Home-court advantage (67 points)
Click below to see the ballots of our 10 writers:
• Henry Abbott, TrueHoop
Marc Stein (20 points): If Boston wants to make those of us picking L.A. look stupid, its first objective is clear: Win the first two games. No one has been able to put the Lakers in a hole in these playoffs. It would be great to see how the Lakers respond playing from behind for once and needing to win those middle three games.
John Hollinger (17 points): If Boston wins, there's a good chance this will be the reason.
Remember that with the 2-3-2 format, it's likely L.A. would need to win a clincher in Beantown, which is always tricky. Historically, a seventh game at home has been a massive advantage, and Boston has been great at TD Banknorth Garden in the playoffs.
Henry Abbott (10 points): If the Lakers had home-court advantage, they would have turned the Celtics into real underdogs. But they don't. And the Lakers fans I have talked to are feeling just a little nervous about that fact. History shows home court really does matter.
Think about it this way: Would it surprise anyone if Boston won Game 1? Then how do you look at things?
J.A. Adande (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?
Tim Legler (10 points): Having Game 7 at home has bailed out the C's twice in these playoffs. Another long series is on the horizon and the Garden will be rockin' all the way through.
The pain of the Patriots' meltdown in the Super Bowl can be exorcised if KG can raise another banner for the most storied franchise in NBA history.
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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.
Daily Dime• Celtics win 17th championship title
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• A little help from Kobe's friends
• Time for L.A. to go small
• The Finals Can't Shake Donaghy Mess
• Unlikely Game 4 comeback gives C's 3-1 lead
• Rondo's ankle could change L.A.'s game plan
• Kobe leads Lakers to Game 3 win
• Lakers need to attack the paint
• Lakers learn Powe's name in Game 2
• Time for Gasol to step up
• Lakers need better defense in Game 2
• Pierce sparks Celtics in Game 1 victory
• Expert predictions, clutch stats
• Pierce loves playing Lakers
• Celtics to meet L.A. in the Finals
Lakers vs. Celtics• Stein: Q&A after six-game "sweep"
• 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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• ESPN Classic schedule: Relive the rivalry
TrueHoop• TrueHoop: Finals reflections
• TrueHoop: Doc Rivers' redemption
• TrueHoop: Lakers got Rondo'd
• Tough night for Allen
• Game 5 live blogging
• Laker nation vs. NBA refs
• Pierce and the evaporating knee story
• Game 2 live blogging
• Coaxing Kobe Bryant into hero mode
• Game 1 live blogging
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Simmons• Notes from the C's winning night
• Boston's X factors
• Game 4 running diary
• Time for NBA Finals answers
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• NBA Finals forecast
• Chat: NBA Finals preview
• Simmons: You want a piece of Kobe, Boston?
ESPN The Magazine• Sporting Equivalency: NBA Finals meets hip hop
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Fantasy• Join the fun of NBA Finals: Playcaller
Audio• Dish: NBA Finals recap
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• Ray Allen on how the Celtics evolved
• Bob Ryan compares '86 C's to current one
• Jon Barry credits Tom Thibodeau's team defense
• Game 4 reactions
• Rajon Rondo on Pierce, Game 2 plans
• Bill Walton on Celtics-Lakers history
• Dr. J on Finals, '80s hoops