Breaking Down Toronto’s Potential Playoff Opponents

With five games remaining in the Raptors 2015-16 regular season it’s that time when we look ahead to the playoffs.

The Toronto Raptors are pretty much locked in to the Eastern Conference’s second seed, sitting behind the Cavaliers and ahead of the rest of the pack by 7.5 games.

Raptors head coach Dwane Casey knows teams at the bottom of the East playoff picture are already starting to put together game plans with Toronto in mind.

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“If they’re doing their job they’re going to pre-scout you,” said Casey. “Just like us we look at teams all in that area [East 6-8 seeds] but we don’t know who.”

“The games are so well-scouted there’s not a new play or scheme we haven’t seen and vice-versa.”

Just a few weeks ago that potential opponent seemed like it would be the Chicago Bulls, a typically tough opponent for Toronto, or the Washington Wizards again to rehash 2015’s playoff ghosts.

But in the past 10 games both teams have gone 5-5 and slipped out of the playoff picture. It can happen that quickly in the crowded East when four games separate the third from the eighth team.

“That happened to us on Sunday we entered in third and we lost and ended up in sixth,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford told NPH Tuesday at the ACC. “That will keep us sharp. We want to win home court and that’s a big advantage. It’s not the end of the world if we’re not third or fourth but it would be a nice advantage for us.”

Charlotte, Indiana, and Detroit are the most likely playoff opponents for the Raptors, all of which Toronto has lost to once, all the losses coming on the road. Since the Raptors locked up homecourt advantage that bodes well for their fortunes.

“The only thing we can focus on is just us,” said Raptors forward Patrick Patterson. “These last four or five games just treating them like they’re playoff games, staying focused, working on our rotation, hopefully getting [DeMarre Carroll] back healthy and playing again.”

Charlotte Hornets
Dec 17, L – 109-99 OT
Jan 1, W – 104-94
Apr 5, W – 96-90

Indiana Pacers
Oct 28, W – 106-99
Dec 14, L – 106-90
Mar 17, W – 101-94 OT
April 8

Detroit Pistons
Jan 30, W – 111-107
Feb 8, W – 103-89
Feb 28, L – 114-101

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