With only 10 games left in the Raptors’ regular season, everyone’s eyes are understandably on the jostling for playoff positioning. Last time we checked in, the Raptors’ took a beating at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder — a loss that did a lot to damper our expectations of where this team could go. Since then, the Raptors have won four games in a row. Here is how the standings look:
Yes, the only thing between the Raptors and the 3-seed is one loss by the Washington Wizards. Over the next week, Toronto faces Dallas on the road (who they just routed), and Orlando and Charlotte at home. All three games come with sufficient rest, so anything short of 2-1 would be a mild disappointment.
The Wizards have lost four of their last six games and will embark on another west coast swing this week. Brooklyn at home is the last home game they’ll have for a while, as they then face Cleveland (on a back-to-back), the Lakers and the Clippers. It is becoming a really hard exercise to predict Washington’s performances because almost all their games are close and their form has been blowing hot and cold.
Other things to watch:
The race for the 3-seed becomes all the more intriguing because Boston-Cleveland now have a 1-game gap for the top-seed. For all the talk of the Raptors making a run to stay out of Cleveland’s bracket, Boston might take that away from them anyway.
Elsewhere, the Milwaukee Bucks have stormed into the 6-seed with an 8-2 stretch that involved a west coast swing, and are only a game back of the 5-seed. There’s a good chance they end up in the 5 or 6 seed and possibly line up to face the Raptors in round one. Root against that.