With LeBron James gone to the West and this year gone entirely from the postseason, the Eastern Conference headquarters for the NBA Finals won't be in his home for the first time since 2010.
Remember the freakish general manager search two summer's ago that ended up with the hiring of in-house candidate Jon Horst?
After another terrific season, Lillard might be among the league's most underrated stars. From trading for Eric Bledsoe to hiring Mike Budenholzer to bringing in vets like Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova to trading for George Hill and Nikola Mirotic, the construction has allowed the Deer to thrive in this new National Basketball Association as a top five team in both offense and defense.
Milwaukee Bucks: Current roster captures spirit of franchise's past greats: Adam McGee wrote about the parallels this year's Bucks team has with past squads throughout the franchise's peaks in the early 1970's and throughout the entire 1980's and the spirit of the team heading into this year's playoffs. Here's a little recap of how that new system has fared this season. They don't see much drama or a point in even watching the playoffs anymore because they think they know the outcome. It's hard to see this playoff series ended any other way. This matchup features some of the most electrifying talents in the playoffs, and there are also some interesting matchup details.
Here is a breakdown of all the first-round clashes in the west by the numbers thanks to Opta. The Bucks host the Detroit Pistons for Game 1 on Sunday evening. It was the fifth time in his career to achieve that, but that wasn't enough for Heat to get into the playoffs.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was a member of one of those teams in the modern era and now has the chance to do it again in a different role, having played under the man who was the guiding hand behind each of the sides to have done the three-peat.
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They then teamed for a rendition of NSYNC's classic " Tearin' Up My Heart ", and it was a flawless dose of 2000's nostalgia. Speaking on stage, Diddy prompted the crowd to give its headliner some love, noting, "She's been through a whole lot".
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Weathers' character is looking for someone to seek a very .exclusive product, and hires The Mandalorian to take care of business. The show looked like a high-caliber production that shouldn't be ignored just because it's hidden on a streaming app.
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The Bolts had the NHL's best record in the regular season and head to Columbus on Monday hoping to avoid the dreaded 0-3 hole. Columbus signed D Vladislav Gavrikov on Saturday but he's not cleared to play yet because his visa is pending.
There's Milwaukee, with Giannis Antetokounmpo in position to exit June fully atop the National Basketball Association with a title and an MVP award. His assist ability was on top of the league and was another reason for him to be a competitive MVP candidate. Giannis Antetokounmpo should be able to dominate his way to his first appearance past the first round. Two of these series shouldn't go beyond five games. Therefore, the Bucks won't get any reprieve if they fail to get out of the first round. The Warriors swept Cleveland previous year after winning 4-1 in 2017. When he plays for the Warriors this weekend, and when Kyle O'Quinn - now No. 2 on the list with 443 regular-season games without a postseason minute - plays for IN, the new active leader IN games played without a postseason appearance will be Brandon Knight.
Meanwhile, the Bucks brought in Pau Gasol to provide more depth in the front court. In the two wins against the Nuggets, DeRozan averaged 27 points and six assists per game.
Griffin is dealing with left knee soreness and hasn't been healthy for some time now. Beyond Griffin and All-Star center Andre Drummond, there's not much that Milwaukee should be scared of matchup-wise.
On Friday, city officials dyed the Milwaukee River green, one of the Bucks' colors.
Stat to know: The Bucks averaged 118.1 points per game during the regular season, which was tops in the league.
Despite there being just one game remaining in the season, three teams are still in contention for the bottom three seeds in the Western Conference leaving the Warriors guessing who their first-round opponents will be. They have to come out with the confidence they've had all season long under Budenholzer and continue to let it fly. Ultimately, the Pacers will need better spacing to complement their paint-dominated style, while the Celtics need to find consistent outside shooting to win. All-Star center Nikola Vucevic and forward Aaron Gordon helped power the Magic to the playoffs for the first time since 2011-12. To make matters, worse, they're facing an OKC Thunder team they failed to defeat even once during the regular season.