For the first time in nine years, LeBron James is not in the Eastern Conference finals. In their place there are two potential heirs of James' title "Best Player in the World".
Giannis Antetokounmpo will probably be named MVP of the regular season. Kawhi Leonard is possibly the Most Valuable Player of the postseason in two rounds. Now, they will go face to face with a trip to The Finals on the line.
The Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors have been the two best teams in the East throughout the season. The Bucks, of course, have been one step ahead. They had the best record in the league and their best point differential in the regular season. And over two rounds, they have the best postseason record and their best point differential.
The Raptors have apparently played the toughest competition on their way to the end of the conference. Or maybe the Bucks have been too good to seem threatened. The next two weeks will be if it is better to have been evaluated or to have been dominant.
Here are some statistical notes to prepare you for the Eastern Conference finals, with links so you can immerse yourself and explore more. Game 1 is Wednesday at 8:30 ET (TNT).
Pace = possessions for 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored for 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed for 100 possessions
NetRtg = Differential point per 100 possessions