NBA Playoffs

Drama intensifying. Hawks win big over Bucks, 95-74, setting up a huge conference semifinal matchup with Orlando. That should be a classic. Cleveland outlasted Boston in their first game. LeBron with 35. Cavs looked very good though Celtics should give them a run. A series I really like is the Lakers-Jazz. Lakers won today, 104-99, behind great efforts by Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. Kobe with 31 and seven-of-seven from the free throw line. He is totally clutch; most clutch player in the league in my opinion. Gasau had 25 points and 12 boards. Great game by the big man. Andrew Bynum playing hurt for the Lakers with a tear in his meniscus. Not as effective as he can be. We'll see how that shakes out.

Utah played Lakers very tough with a chance to win the game, and look to be in the series for the long haul. Don't know if they can beat Lakers. It'll be tough, but Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer and a bunch of hard-working, blue-collar players should give the Lakers everything they want. If the first game is any indication of how this series will go, seven games looks like a strong possibility. Jazz should get Andrei Kirilenko back for game three in Utah, which will provide some extra defense and low post scoring. Williams scored 24 points and added eight assists, and Boozer, a horse, posted 18 points and 12 boards. With guys like C.J. Miles, Wesley Matthews, Paul Millsap and Ronnie Price playing their hearts out and shooting well, this is a very formidable team. This should be an outstanding series. Like the Lakers to win it, but would love to see the Jazz pull off the upset. Always liked the Jazz since the days of Stockton-Malone. They've been so close through the years. They received a big blow when center Mehmet Okur went out with a ruptured Achilles and is out for the entire playoffs. But they have studs, and have a shot at the Lakers.

In other action, Cleveland plays Boston in game two of their best of seven Monday Night at seven in Cleveland. And Phoenix opens up what could be an electric series with San Antonio Monday Night at 9:30 in Phoenix. Both games are on TNT. Atlanta is at Orlando Tuesday at 7 and Utah plays game two against at the Lakers at 9:30. Both of those games are on TNT.

Cleveland and Lakers look like the best teams, barely.  There are major roadblocks out there for both teams who could derail the favorites and would like nothing better than to do so.