Toronto Raptors: Which teams threaten their championship hopes?

TORONTO, ON - MAY 21: Kyle Lowry
TORONTO, ON - MAY 21: Kyle Lowry /
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toronto raptors
BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 1: Marcus Smart /

Boston Celtics

Despite having a two-game lead in the East the Toronto Raptors cannot overlook any team, especially the one that is right below them in second place.

The Celtics have certainly cooled off since their strong start to the season, but they still have the potential to do damage in the playoffs. Where their impact is noticeable is on the defensive side of the ball, which is the top-ranked unit in the league this season.

Since the trade deadline Boston has struggled defensively, allowing 111.1 points per game. More concerning to them is the fact they only have 104.4 points of offence per game over the same stretch.

So either Boston is cooling off or Gordon Hayward‘s injury is becoming an impact as well. It also does not help that Kyrie Irving is dealing with knee soreness.

The Celtics have also lost five of their past six contests, giving Toronto a chance to pile on their lead in the Eastern Conference.  Both teams will play each two more times on Mar. 31 and Apr. 04 which could have big implications on playoff seeding.

At this point, having home court advantage throughout the playoffs should be the focus of the Raptors. If Boston finds their game they will provide some stiff competition, whether in the standings or in the postseason.