1) The importance of seeding
Even without the homecourt advantage, seeding will be everything for the Raptors if they are to do what is considered the unexpected and return to the NBA Finals. At 6.5 games behind the Bucks, first seed in the Eastern Conference is all but impossible at this point.
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Regardless, holding onto second seed in the East is extremely important, as it would mean facing the Magic, New Jersey Nets of Washington Wizards in the opening round of the playoffs. Drop to the third seed, and they have to contend with more difficult opponents, in the 76ers, Heat or Indiana Pacers.
As things stand, the Raptors have a three-game lead over the Boston Celtics, who are the only team with a realistic chance of catching them in the standings. There is plenty to be concerned about.
The teams will play each other once and if the Celtics win, things get really interested. It should also be noted that as opposed to Toronto’s brutal schedule, Boston has one of the easiest slates of games among all 22 teams returning to action.
Ultimately, you want to believe the Raptors are still in a strong position. However, expect there to be plenty of nervous moments as they aim to hold onto the second seed in the East.
What is your confidence level in the Toronto Raptors following the release of the NBA’s seeding games schedule? What seed do you predict they will have when the playoffs begin? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.