Playoff Matchups That The Raptors Could See In The First Round

MILWAUKEE, WI - JANUARY 05: Giannis Antetokounmpo
MILWAUKEE, WI - JANUARY 05: Giannis Antetokounmpo /
1 of 5

We highlight the Eastern Conference teams likely to make the playoffs, and consider which will give the Raptors the most trouble in the first round.

The Toronto Raptors have faced 13 of 14 Eastern conference foes at least once this season and have defeated all but Boston. Nonetheless, the Raptors will not be judged on their performance in the regular season, but as a playoff team. It has become a popular narrative in the NBA that this team only performs well in the regular season. Although they did make it to the Conference Finals in 2016, there is some truth to that narrative.

The Raptors have not played their best basketball during the postseason and have a terrible habit of playing from behind. Toronto has not won a Game 1 of a playoff series since the 2001 Conference Semifinals against the 76ers. Furthermore, they have won a playoff series 4 times as a franchise, 3 of them were decided by the last game. However, it is fair to say that this Raptors team is not similar to the other ones from previous years. Many people recognize their bench as the best in the NBA. DeMar DeRozan and Delon Wright have surprised many with the improvements of their jump shot. Kyle Lowry has taken less of a load by playing the least amount of minutes since his first year in Toronto.

With other teams facing issues of their own, this could be a chance for Toronto to shine in the playoffs. With teams already being past the halfway point of the season, playoff matchups are starting to set. Here is an analysis of the 4 most likely first-round opponents for the Toronto Raptors.