With familiar faces eliminated, a new NBA champion is bound to be crowned

Indeed, the conference semifinals opened Saturday with new blood everywhere, owing to a delayed, shortened and condensed regular season that was hampered by injuries and coronavirus health protocol disruptions. The final four teams in the West — the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers — have combined for zero NBA titles and just four Finals appearances in their franchise histories. The final four East teams — the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks — have combined for five titles and 17 Finals appearances, but the most recent championship was in 1983 (76ers) and the latest Finals appearance was in 2003 (Nets).

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