Giannis Admits Eastern Conference ‘Definitely Open’ with LeBron James on Lakers

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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MAY 15:  Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks dribbles the ball while being guarded by Marc Gasol #33 of the Toronto Raptors in the fourth quarter in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at the Fiserv Forum on May 15, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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The Eastern Conference Finals do not feature LeBron James for the first time since 2010, and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo recognized how open the conference playoffs have become since the four-time NBA MVP moved to the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I didn’t see it as open,” Antetokounmpo said per Malika Andrews of ESPN. “But now that I look back and see how everything went, it’s definitely open, not having LeBron in the East and not trying to go through him.”

Antetokounmpo’s Bucks lead the Toronto Raptors 1-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals, which James won each season from 2011-18 as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers or Miami Heat.

The Eastern Conference has commonly featured a dominant player or team running the show and preventing other talented franchises from making the NBA Finals. 

Bill Russell and Bob Cousy led the Boston Celtics to East titles from 1957-1966. The Moses Malo

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