Wiedmer: Without LeBron, NBA playoffs have lots of storylines

Houston Rockets guard James Harden reacts after a foul during the second half of his team's playoff game against the Utah Jazz on Saturday in Salt Lake City.
photo Mark Wiedmer

If you're really bored tonight or you just want to glimpse the two teams that might eventually meet in the NBA Finals, you might want to check out the Milwaukee Bucks' attempt to sweep the Detroit Pistons out of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, followed by the Houston Rockets' goal to do the same to the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference. The first game starts at 8, and TNT will televise both.

Whether you watch those games or not, these playoffs are already remarkably different from the 13 straight that came before them because of the absence of LeBron James, whose self-centered move to the Los Angeles Lakers spectacularly backfired this season, if for this season only.