Here's who the Raptors are likely to play in the NBA play-in tournament

Apr 4 2023, 7:24 pm

With four games left in the Toronto Raptors’ season, there are plenty of possibilities for how things are set to shake out for the rest of the campaign.

Toronto’s already well locked into a play-in spot, with giving the team a 76% chance of finishing in either the ninth or 10th seed in the Eastern Conference.

They’re officially out of the race for the conference’s top six spots, but the Raptors could face up to five different teams in the NBA’s play-in tournament next week, which kicks off Tuesday, April 13.

Here’s a look at each of their possible opponents.

Miami Heat (41-37), 7th seed

Much like the Raptors, the Miami Heat probably aren’t all that enthused with where they’re slated to end up at the conclusion of this season. One game away from making last year’s NBA Finals, the Heat have yet to really reach their expected potential this season as they’ve been no higher than sixth in the East at any point this year.

The obvious storyline here would be a matchup against former Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who’s currently coming off the bench for the Heat.

Atlanta Hawks (39-39), 8th seed

The Atlanta Hawks have undergone, well, an interesting season to say the least, dealing most notably with the firing of former head coach Nate McMillan before replacing him with former Utah Jazz boss Quin Snyder.

The Hawks are play-in veterans, having made it out of last year’s tournament as the eighth side following a series of wins over Charlotte and Cleveland, though they fell in five games to the aforementioned Heat.

Chicago Bulls, (38-40), 10th seed

Much like Miami, the Chicago Bulls also possess a former Raptors legend in star guard DeMar DeRozan.

Unlike Miami, it’s hard to imagine the Bulls making much noise come postseason time. They’re dealing with an injury to star guard Lonzo Ball, and have never really got their mojo going this season. Currently, Chicago at Toronto is the most likely matchup based on the current standings, with the loser seeing their season come to an end.

Brooklyn Nets (43-35), 6th seed

Toronto probably won’t be heading to Brooklyn for a play-in game this year. But never say never!

The Brooklyn Nets can’t finish any lower than seventh and would have to lose at least three of their four remaining games (with a combination of other teams rising in the standings) to do so.

They seem pretty locked into an actual playoff spot, with FiveThirtyEight giving them a greater than 99% chance of landing into the first round. 

Orlando Magic, (34-44), 12th seed

If the Raptors play the Orlando Magic, something REALLY weird has gone on in the NBA over the final week of this season.

They’d both need to go 4-0 and have the Chicago Bulls go 0-4 to even catch up to the Bulls’ currently 38-40 record. Just a single loss (or Chicago) win would eliminate them from contention, and the only way they’d play Toronto would be in a 9-10 play-in game at Scotiabank Arena. All things considered, we don’t exactly expect Nick Nurse to spend that much time scouting the Magic just yet.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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