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Detroit Pistons

Pistons' Thon Maker thinks 'it would be awesome' to play Raptors in the first-round of the playoffs

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With the postseason just about a month away, teams and players are starting to think about potential playoff matchups.

In the East, nothing is yet set in stone, but if the playoffs started today, the Toronto Raptors would be doing battle with the Detroit Pistons.

The storylines would write themselves with former Raptors coach and reigning Coach of the Year Dwane Casey manning the Pistons' sideline. The short drive it would take for both Pistons and Raptors fans to invade each other's arena would make for a great playoff atmosphere.

An atmosphere that Pistons big man Thon Maker would love to play in come mid-April.

"It would be awesome," Maker told NBA.com. "Reason being is because since our first playoff match-up - not even anything to do with my friends or family - but that first playoff appearance we had against them when I was in Milwaukee my rookie year ... I really wanna take that back, so if we get Toronto that would be great."

The Raptors bounced the Bucks in six games that year. For Maker, it was an opportunity for him to showcase how much he had grown as a player after finishing high school in the Toronto area and moving onto the NBA.

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Sure Not Now

Maker averaged 10.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per 36 minutes in that series. It was somewhat of a breakout moment for him - announcing to the world that he could play and contribute at the highest level.

The 22-year-old admits that getting the Raptors in a seven-game series would be fun but doesn't want to get too far ahead of himself.

"Either way, we're not thinking down the line," Maker continued. "We're thinking Brooklyn (Monday) because they're in the same situation and they're thinking the same thing [as us].

"The idea of playing against Toronto is always great, I love playing against Toronto. A lot of people can tell, they keep on asking me why.

"I don't know, it's just a lot of fuel and motivation playing against Toronto. I love the city of Toronto - a lot of my friends and old teammates are there. Coaches, family members … some of them even took trips to (Monday's) game. It just lets you know how close it is to me, and it's great but I got to focus on the now."

According to Inpredictable, the Raptors have a 98% chance of locking in the two seed. The Pistons have a 25% chance of the seventh seed, but a 65% chance of finishing sixth.

Toronto's most likely first-round opponent? The Nets, so Maker might not get his wish.

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