Who saw this coming a year ago? LeBron’s Cavaliers meet top-seeded Hawks in Eastern finals

ATLANTA — The Cleveland Cavaliers could only watch enviously as LeBron James tried to steer Miami to another NBA title.

The Atlanta Hawks were trying to move on after tough loss in the opening round of the playoffs.

My, how things have changed a year later in the Eastern Conference.

James returned to Cleveland last summer and turned the Cavs into instant title contenders. The Hawks pulled off a remarkable turnaround, winning 60 games for the first time in franchise history.

The teams will meet in Game 1 of the conference finals Wednesday night.

James, who won two titles with the Heat and twice lost in the NBA Finals, came back to Cleveland looking to lead Cavaliers to their first championship.

He’s halfway there, with the top-seeded Hawks standing in the way.

Paul Newberry, The Associated Press