In a six-day transformation, Atlanta Hawks went from being one of the league's backwater franchises to becoming an Eastern Conference contenders.
Winning MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, puts Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo, at the age of 25, in an exclusive club with Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon. But Giannis' theme for the offseason and next year remains getting better.
Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic scored 17 points apiece as six players scored in double figures and Miami Heat completed a 4-1 series victory in a bruising encounter against the league's top defensive team.
LeBron James had 28 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, Anthony Davis added 34 points and 10 rebounds and the Los Angeles Lakers evened the Western Conference semifinals by beating the Houston Rockets 117-109.
NBA Playoffs: Heat surge late to push Bucks to brink of elimination; Harden powers Rockets' to victory over Lakers
Miami Heat out-scored the Milwaukee Bucks 40-13 in the final period and it was the most lopsided final period in a playoff game since the NBA introduced the shot clock in 1954.
NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder force Game 7 vs. Houston Rockets; Miami Heat beat Milwaukee Bucks in opener
Thunder and Rockets' Game 7 will be Wednesday night, with the winner advancing to face the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers.
NBA: Bucks reach second round of playoffs after triggering shutdown, Lakers snap playoff win drought
Milwaukee Bucks were scheduled to play Wednesday afternoon, but the team decided not to take the court to show their frustration over the police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, along with other acts of racial injustice.
At a meeting involving players from all teams late Wednesday, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Los Angeles Clippers, voted to abandon the season.
Milwaukee Bucks changed the narrative across the entire sports landscape, putting the focus squarely on social justice reform in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police, while three of his children in his car looked on.
NBA: With boycott, players make definitive statement against racism even as league finds itself at crossroads
By refusing to play due to the Jacob Blake shooting incident, NBA players and teams have taken a definitive stand against racism. But the league finds itself at a moment of reckoning.
NBA: Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers vote to abandon season in wake of Jacob Blake's shooting, say reports
The Lakers and Clippers vote to end the season came at an emergency meeting of all the teams left in the NBA's playoffs, which are taking place in Orlando, Florida.
NBA halts playoffs after Milwaukee Bucks lead unprecedented boycott in protest against shooting of Jacob Blake
The Women's NBA also postponed its scheduled fixtures for Wednesday while at least two Major League Soccer fixtures were also reportedly scrapped.
Antetokounmpo received 75 first-place votes from a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters, finishing with 432 points. Anthony Davis was second and Rudy Gobert third.
NBA: LeBron James finishes with 38 points as Los Angeles Lakers outplay Portland Trail Blazers; Milwaukee Bucks beat Orlando Magic
James also had 12 rebounds and eight assists while Anthony Davis scored 23 of his 29 points in the second half as the Lakers grabbed a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven first round series in the NBA's quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.
NBA: Reigning champions Toronto Raptors' Nick Nurse voted NBA Coach of the Year for another 50-win season
Nurse, who led Toronto to their first title last year in his rookie season, was a runaway winner, receiving 90 first-place votes from a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters.
Anthony Davis, who struggled in Game 1, led Los Angeles Lakers with 31 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in 29 minutes.
NBA Playoff: Orlando Magic upset top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers beat LA Lakers in series opener
Nikola Vucevic scored a playoff career-high 35 points and had 14 rebounds, as the Orlando Magic stunned the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks 122-110 in the NBA's fan-free Disney World bubble.
NBA: For first time in 23 seasons, San Antonio Spurs miss playoffs; Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies advance to play-in tournament
Spurs were officially ousted when Memphis beat Milwaukee, and Phoenix completed an undefeated eight-game run in the NBA's restart bubble with a victory over Dallas.
The full list of NBA Playoff matchups won't be known until at least Saturday, when the West play-in series begins with Portland, Memphis, Phoenix and San Antonio bidding for those two spots.