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DBB on 3: Will there be a new beast out East?

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Where the West looks pretty predictable, not so for the East.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Western Conference Semi Finals are predictable.

The East however are up bit more up in the air. Through the two Game ones the Celtics held home court and the Cavs stole it, but the 76ers and the Raptors have the talent to make these series much more entertaining than the Western versions. Each of the four could make a claim for why they might come out on top this round and eventually get to the Finals (to be summarily destroyed by either the Warriors or Rockets).

We asked our writers to give us their takes on how these two match ups will go down and how some of the teams that didn’t make it to the party will fair in the off season.

1. Toronto vs Cleveland: who wins in how many and what’s the major storyline of the matchup?

Ben Quagliata: Cleveland in 6. The major storyline is, as always, how Lebron is able to drag average talent to spectacular heights despite limitations in systems, rotations, coaching and just general Cleveland things.

Ben Gulker: Cleveland in 5: Toronto is unable to overcome the crushing defeat in game 1.

Lazarus Jackson: Cleveland in 6. LeBron vs the hopes and dreams of a literal nation, and the psyche of a Toronto team that views him as their final obstacle.

Ryan Pravato: Toronto in 6. They get it done somehow, maybe it’s because LeBron wears down a little and JR Smith and Korver stop hitting all the big shots. Perhaps Jonas Valanciunas has the series of his life.

Steve Hinson: Raptors are still going to do it. I still believe. Ugh, let’s be honest, I don’t believe it at all, I never want to bet against LeBron James again, but Canada in 7.

2. Boston vs Philly: who wins in how many and what’s the major storyline of the matchup?

Ben Quagliata: Boston in 7. I’m guessing the popular pick will be Philly, but for me, Boston’s experience and coaching will be enough to hold them out for this year at least. If guys like future Pistons starting PG Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris, Aron Baynes (*sob), Jayson Tatum and Semi Ojeleye can support Al Horford to the level they have so far, Brad Stevens can take them to great heights. They just defend like crazy and run a really good system, they can handle Philly’s ad-lib style.

Ben Gulker: Boston in 7: Philly will be back for many years to come.

Lazarus Jackson: Boston in 7. Storyline will be how Ben Simmons handles the plethora of defenders Boston has available to throw at him, and how often Boston can survive their offense stalling out for extended periods.

Ryan Pravato: Boston in 7. Philly is still pretty inexperienced at this playoff thing - just wait until Simmons, Embiid, Saric and Fultz mature more. Celtics are the grittier (cliche alert) team and that will get them through their tough moments when offense may be tough to come by.

Steve Hinson: Boston sweeps. Major storyline is the destruction of the city of Philadelphia by 76ers fans.

3. Of the Eastern teams that lost in the first round whose off season do you find the most intriguing?

Ben Quagliata: Milwaukee by far. This is their most important decision in 20 years, deciding who’s going to be the next coach of Giannis and friends. Budenholzer is the favourite and that’d be a fantastic hire. Plus, the restricted free agency of Jabari Parker and what they do with guys like John Henson, Matthew Dellavedova and Tony Snell, especially with other, younger options proving capable (Brogdon, Thon Maker, Sterling Brown).

Ben Gulker: Prior to the playoffs, I would have said Milwaukee... but Indiana has also become very interesting with Oladipo’s emergence as a legitimate star.

Lazarus Jackson: I’m actually going to write about this for DBB, so stay tuned, but Indiana. Indiana was The Little Engine that Could this year - can they transition that into sustained success?

Ryan Pravato: Washington Wizards. They are stuck in mediocre-ville right now, though, I think a crafty trade or two can catapult them to a legit top-four team in the conference that can compete with the up-and-coming big boys. They need to get younger and more modern in their front court, and they surely have the wing pieces to facilitate a trade. Bonus: Indiana - Not so much their offseason, but what becomes of Sabonis and Turner next season? Can they start and flourish together? Both bring a variety of stuff to the table. They’re both seemingly best suited as centers, perhaps they’ll need to shop one of them to get another helpful wing.

Steve Hinson: All of them. Picking one though, I’ll say Milwaukee. They’re the team with the star, no coach, and big decisions to make.

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There’s where we’re at, what about you? Please copy/paste the questions and give us your thoughts!

1. Toronto vs Cleveland: who wins in how many and what’s the major storyline of the matchup?

2. Boston vs Philly: who wins in how many and what’s the major storyline of the matchup?

3. Of the Eastern teams that lost in the first round whose off season do you find the most intriguing?