Why playing the eight Regular Season games Hurt the Toronto Raptors

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Toronto Raptors, Kyle Lowry (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

We will finally get to see Toronto Raptors basketball again, but the Raptors will be facing one of the hardest schedules.

The NBA is BACK. Yes, it is in an odder fashion than usual, but nonetheless it’s back. Teams will play 8 regular-season games before resuming to the play-in tournament. This is good news for the NBA since we are going to be able to watch basketball again. This is not so good news if you are the Toronto Raptors.

Why is it bad news for the Toronto Raptors

Well, first off the Toronto Raptors (46-18) are only three games ahead of the Boston Celtics (43-21). So it is still possible that they can fall to third and maybe even fourth place in the East if things truly get ugly.

The last 8 games remaining will be the next eight games that were scheduled. So any matchup against the eight teams not in the playoffs would just mean they play the next game instead. This is roughly what the schedule should look like for the Toronto Raptors:

  1. Philadelphia 76ers
  2. Boston Celtics
  3. Denver Nuggets
  4. Los Angeles Lakers
  5. Memphis Grizzlies
  6. Memphis Grizzlies
  7. Milwaukee Bucks
  8. Milwaukee Bucks

This doesn’t look too good for the Toronto Raptors. Besides the matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies, this is an extremely tough schedule for the Toronto Raptors to swallow. Especially when we consider that of the top teams, the Toronto Raptors have one of the worst records against teams .500 and above (11-14).

There is the first seeded Milwaukee Bucks, who have been a team the Raptors have failed to win a game against this season. The sixth-seeded Denver Nuggets are also another tough matchup for the Toronto Raptors.  Then there are also the second-seeded Lakers to worry about.

Oh, and we can’t forget about the juggernaut Philadelphia 76ers team that can be the best team in the league or play like the New York Knicks.

The fifth-seeded Boston Celtics is the biggest team to worry about. They are going to want that second seed more than ever, especially given the drop off between the sixth-seeded team and the seventh and eighth-seeded teams. They also have a much kinder schedule than the Raptors do, which is more bad news for the Raptors — Celtics have five games against below .500 teams.

There is a realistic chance that the Toronto Raptors can have a 2-6 or 3-5 record here, which would bring them down to the third seed and possibly the fourth if the Miami Heat does really well.

In every one of these matchups besides the Grizzlies, the best player between both teams is not on the Raptors. Which is something that really matters, especially when games will feel all the more important.

Why does it hurt them so much?

Once the eighth games are done, then the NBA will continue with its traditional playoff format. We already mentioned the gap between the top six teams in the East and the seven and eight seed.

If the Toronto Raptors do fail to maintain the second seed after these eight regular-season games. It can make all the difference. They can go from facing a very bad Brooklyn Nets team to facing the Philadelphia 76ers.

The second seed has never been so important in the East, and the Toronto Raptors must do everything it takes to avoid playing any top-six team in the eastern conference. It can be the difference between going home after the first round or making the conference finals with confidence.

Next: Kyle Lowry is a better Point Guard than Kyrie Irving

So yes, it is nice that the NBA is returning. But not so nice for the Toronto Raptors.