Top East teams don't want the Raptors in the first round
Teams like the Celtics, Bucks and 76ers all have hopes of winning titles this season and the Raptors, may not beat any of them in a playoff series, but would give all of them an exhausting bout. Listen to the full episode on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed.
CHRIS WALDER: I posed this question on Twitter earlier as well. I mean, if the Raptors get to a certain point, if they get out of the plane or if they get into the playoffs altogether. If you're looking at those top three teams in the East.
And let's be perfectly frank here. The Celtics, the Bucs, the 76ers, they're not looking at the Raptors as a team that could potentially eliminate them. I think they're looking at them as a team that they just don't want to match up against that early in the playoffs because they will be a [INAUDIBLE] out.
I'm not saying maybe they'll be any harder than the Miami Heat, for example. They have a championship pedigree as well. But at the same time, with this new look, Toronto Raptors, especially with Poeltl at the 5. If you're vying to go deep into the playoffs, you don't want Toronto that early.
You're looking at a potential early first round match-up. Give me Washington. Give me Chicago. Give me a team that theoretically on paper will be an easier route. So that's why I'm really obviously biased. I'm a Toronto Raptors guy, but I'm zoning in on how this season unfolds. Because if they do get a--
IMMAM ADAN: You said 2023 champs. You can't take that back, Walder. It's been set into stone.
CHRIS WALDER: Did I say that out loud? [LAUGHS] Did I say that? Look, history has taught me that, so I'm going to stick with it. But again, at the same time, those upper echelon teams that want to vie for a championship, they're looking at the standings very closely. I can guarantee you that. And they do not want Toronto, especially if they continue to put some wins together. Don't look at this Cavaliers loss as anything but an aberration at this point. If it consistently happens, then get back to me.
IMMAM ADAN: I know. I completely--