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NBA Playoffs: Who the Raptors don’t want to see in the First Round

Raptors

The Toronto Raptors have had a season to remember sitting comfortably in the second spot in the East below the Milwaukee Bucks.

Despite Toronto’s success, some up and coming teams in the Eastern Conference have challenged the Raptors this season.

With 11 games remaining, the Raptors could challenge Milwaukee for first place.

With Playoffs right around the corner here are some teams the Raptors don’t want to see in the first round.

Detroit Pistons

The Raptors have struggled against the Pistons this season. With an 0-3 record against Detroit it’s safe to say that former Raptors head coach, Dwayne Casey has got his revenge. Although, knocking off the Raptors in the first round would be even sweeter.

All three games finished in close dramatic fashion and would make for must-see television.

Nov 14. 106 – 104 Detroit

March 3. 112 – 107 Detroit in overtime

March 17. 110 – 107 Detroit

In all three of Detroit’s wins, Blake Griffin went off for at least 25+ points. If they do meet in the playoffs he will be someone Nick Nurse and the rest of the coaching staff will need to game plan for.

I don’t see the Raptors losing this series but it would be interesting and entertaining. The playoffs are a whole different atmosphere and former finals MVP Kawhi Leonard will rise to the occasion. Detroit is sitting in sixth place in the east with a 36 – 34 record with Brooklyn right behind them. So if Toronto stays in second place, there is a good chance they meet in the first round.

Raptors in six games.

Brooklyn Nets

With the emergence of D’Angelo Russell, he has transformed the Nets into a sleeper pick in this year’s playoffs. With help from Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson the Nets have surprised the NBA.

Just like the series against Detroit, the season series against Brooklyn has seen some tight battles. The Raptors currently hold a 2-1 season series lead over the Nets.

Dec. 7. 106 – 105 Brooklyn in  overtime

Jan. 11. 122 – 105 Toronto

Feb. 11. 127 – 125 Toronto

D’Angelo Russell had big performances in all three of his games against Toronto dropping 29, 24, and 28 points. Brooklyn is a young very talented team and will be a big threat in the east in years to come but Toronto will take this series if they were to meet in the playoffs. Brooklyn has a 36 – 36 record and is in seventh place in the east. If the playoffs started today the Raptors and Nets would play each other.

The Raptors just have too much depth in their lineup for the Nets to handle. Pascal Siakam and Kawhi Leonard will have big playoff performances to lift the Raptors to the second round.

Raptors in five games.

Conclusion

Despite the records of the bottom playoff teams in the east, the ‘weak’ conference is getting stronger and as a Raptors fan, we should all get ready for a tough path to the NBA Finals.

Photo Credit:
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Podcaster for Baseline to Baseline and local Calgary journalist. Have written articles for the Calgary Flames, the Calgary Roughnecks, Hockey Canada, the University of Calgary Dinos men’s basketball, multiple SAIT Trojans teams, Postmedia, The Canadian Press, and Fansided.com. Favourite teams are the Calgary Flames (2004 Stanley Cup champions #ItWasIn), Toronto Raptors (please stay Kawhi), Toronto Blue Jays, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the Philadelphia Eagles.

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