1. Kevin Garnett. These are the games that your star(s) has to win for you. Those brutal fifth-game-in-eight-nights sort of games when catch-and-shooters can find the target and your hustle guys are gassed are the ones that you need a star to take the team on his shoulders. Kevin Garnett did this last night for the Celtic in Game 1 of the Leastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Cleveland Lebronaliers. He scored 28, including the go-ahead shot with less than a minute to play, and dragged Paul Pierce and Ray Allen (who combined to shoot 2 for 18) to the finish line of last nights 76-72 Knicks/Heat throwback in Boston.
2. Big Z. Lebron gets all the credit. And deservedly so. He's the most indomitable physical force in professional basketball. However, Zydrunas Ilgauskas is a Cleveland institution and the only member of that city's basketball team that showed up to play last night. Z scored 22 points (out of his team's woeful 72), grabbed 12 boards, had two assists, two steals and two blocks. Drafted by the Cavs in 1996, the two time All-Star is quietly the glue keeping Lebron's teams together.
3. Kobe Bryant. He has been named the NBA's 2008 Most Valuable Player. Um, sure he was.
4. Lance Berkman. One night after the last remaining Killer B of the Houston Astros tied his career high of four hits he does one better by going 5-for-5 at the dish against the Nationals. Berkman had two doubles and two stolen bases. He's currently ranked (in the NL) 1st in RBI and runs, 2nd in HR and 3rd in batting average and slugging percentage. He's already got 6 steals (good for 10th in the NL) this season, which is quite impressive for someone who looks like he enjoys his fair share of BBQ down there in Texas.