The Toronto Raptors have arrived at the three-quarter mark of the season with a rather impressive 35-27 record and a three-game lead atop the Atlantic Division.
Their success to this point has largely been based on an improbable turnaround after the trade of Rudy Gay, but also to some extent, as a result of the failings of the teams below them. The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics were written off early, the Brooklyn Nets started poorly, and the New York Knicks have been a mess.
While it’s now virtually guaranteed that the Raptors will lock up a playoff spot, there is far less certainty to where they will end up seeded.
Over the final 20 games, there will be tough tests, trap games, and matches of varying intensity, but each will be equally important for Canada’s lone NBA squad.
So as the Raptors settle in for a three-game homestand beginning with Wednesday night’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons, here are three things that could factor into the chances of playing winning basketball.