Finals Factors: Chris Sheridan'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 Chris Sheridan's ballot:
1. Kobe (40 points): I expect at least three of these games to come down to fourth-quarter shootouts that go down to the final minute, and I trust Kobe more than I trust anyone else in this series to make the right play or the big shot in those instances.
2. 2-3-2 format (20 points): Game 5 is usually the key game of any series, unless it goes seven, and it's an unfair advantage to the Lakers to have that game in their building -- especially if it's 2-2 going in.
That's why I think Boston needs to open 2-0 to have any chance to win the title.
3. Paul Pierce (20 points): He has a history of playing well back in his hometown, and his Game 7 performance against LeBron and the Cavs was one of the defining moments of his career.
If he plays with the right mix of maturity and emotion, he's nearly as dangerous as Kobe.
4. Officiating (10 points): I'd rather this wasn't a factor, but it has been the past two years.
Last June, it was the non-call when Bruce Bowen fouled LeBron on a 3-point attempt at the end of Game 3 -- I still can't believe LBJ didn't get that call in his own building.
The year before, it was Dwyane Wade's free throws at the end of Game 5.
5. Bench battle (10 points): The Celtics have a lot more size and a lot more experience on their bench, and Doc can go a little deeper than Phil, depending on what he needs.
I think second-chance points will be a key stat in the series, and Boston can win it if Kendrick Perkins and the bench bigs (P.J. Brown, Leon Powe, Glen Davis) are active on the glass.
Wild card: KG in the clutch. The knock on KG throughout his career has been that he doesn't always exude confidence in the way he plays down the stretch, which usually manifests itself with the viewer asking, "Why did he pass that instead of shoot it?"
If several of these games go down to the wire, as I expect, this will be something to watch for in those situations.
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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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• 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
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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
• Top 10 moments of Lakers-Celtics rivalry
• 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
• Today's game isn't so different
Simmons• Notes from the C's winning night
• Boston's X factors
• Game 4 running diary
• Time for NBA Finals answers
• The C's and city both look good
• The Truth comes out in Game 1
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• 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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Audio• Dish: NBA Finals recap
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• 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