Apr 2, 2023 6:01 PM
For the first time in franchise history, the Toronto Raptors’ journey to the NBA Playoffs will pass through the NBA’s play cycle.
After the Brooklyn Nets beat the Utah Jazz on Sunday, the Raptors’ best team is now seventh in the Eastern Conference, propelling them to the championship.
The Raptors still have a lot to play for in their remaining four games as the top seed in the four-team tournament is more important.
On Sunday, the Raptors sit eighth in the conference with a record of 39-39. A seventh or eighth place would guarantee Toronto two chances to clinch a playoff berth.
Here’s a reminder of how the tournament game works:
The seventh and eighth seeds will play one match, with the winner getting the seventh seed in the playoffs.
– The ninth and tenth teams play to earn the right to play the losers from the seventh game against the eighth game.
The loser of the seventh/eighth game gets a second chance against the winner of the ninth/tenth game, and the winner gets the eighth and final place for the conference.
Therefore, the Raptors will want to fight to stay in eighth place or climb to seventh place, as that would guarantee them two chances to secure a postseason spot.
Raptors who confine themselves to the playing cycle pretty much guarantee that they will take on the league-leading Boston Celtics or the Milwaukee Bucks if they enter it officially.
This version of the tournament has been around for two seasons. In those two seasons, the seventh seed went a perfect 4-0 in the opener.
The Raptors face a tough four-game finish this season, starting with the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday, then going on the road against the Boston Celtics and finishing the season at home against the Milwaukee Bucks.