The Boston Celtics have struggled somewhat in the playoffs, falling from an 80.5% regular-season winning percentage to 60% in the postseason.
But there's still that overwhelming advantage at home.
The Celtics are 10-1 at TD Banknorth Garden in the playoffs after going 35-6 during the regular season. And the team with home-court advantage has won 13 of 14 series in one of the most home-slanted playoffs in league history.
"We're not worrying about that," Lakers forward Lamar Odom said. "We closed in San Antonio, closed in Utah, so we believe that we can win on the road."
The Lakers, 27-14 on the road during the regular season, are 4-3 on the road in the playoffs -- 2-0 in Denver, 1-2 in Utah and 1-1 in San Antonio.
Jordan Farmar was six months old the last time the Lakers and Celtics met for the championship, in 1987. Sasha Vujacic was 3 years old and Ronny Turiaf was 4.
"Different era, different players," said Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis, a power forward on the first Lakers team to beat the Celtics in the Finals (1985). "Most of the Lakers and Celtics players that will be involved with this series only know those Finals from TV . . . or they didn't watch them because they weren't born yet."
Andrew Bynum, sidelined for the series because of knee surgery, was born four months after the Lakers defeated the Celtics in six games in 1987.
Kobe Bryant will start out guarding Celtics guard Ray Allen but could play more of a rover role on defense.
"I'll be all over the place," he said. "I'll guard pretty much everybody at some point."