The Raptors are in a position I thought would never be possible--on the cusp of missing the playoffs. Their 35-34 record is bad enough for the 8th seed and is just 2.5 games better than Chicago, who is on the outside looking in. But as bad as the Raptors have been, they're only 1 game out of the 6th seed--which is currently vacated by the Miami Heat.
The Raptors face the Jazz tonight, which is a game I consider a "must win". For one, the game is at the ACC, and just like my basketball coach tells me, "no one can beat you on your home floor". The Raptors are 7-4 at home against West Coast teams, and have an overall record of 23-11.
Secondly, the Raptors must bump up in the standings. An 8 seed, even a 7 seed, will mean a 5 game series at best. With the 6 seed, the Raptors at least have a shot of beating either the Hawks or Celtics in a 7 game series (but I'm begging it's the Celtics). And most importantly, the Heat travel to Chicago tomorrow night, which I'm guessing will be a Heat win. The Raptors can't afford to fall 2 games behind. I haven't said this all year, but it now needs to be said: The Raptors NEED this win.
Given how tight the 6-8 seeds are, every game is significant. The Raptors must take advantage of these last 13 games, and move up in the standings.
For once in a very long time, I want a reason to smile over this team. I'm so sick of losing.
Following March 14's loss against the Warriors, Chris Bosh called out his teammates, saying:
"Time is ticking and it's counting down, and if we keep playing the way we are right now, we're going to be on the outside looking in. Guys need to step it up, period."
You heard the man. Let's go Raptors.