The magic number for the Toronto Raptors to clinch a playoff spot is now one.
Following the loss by the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, the Raptors are now just one win away from securing their seventh consecutive playoff spot. The Wizards are currently in ninth place in the Eastern Conference at 22-39 which means the best record they can finish with is 43-39. The Raptors currently sit at 43-18 and although they have already secured the head-to-head tiebreaker, there are potential (albeit extraordinarily unlikely) multiple team tiebreaker scenarios which is why the Raptors have not already wrapped up the spot.
If both the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs miss the playoffs, it means the Raptors will have the NBA's second-longest active streak of playoff appearances.
With Toronto's magic number now one, it's just a matter of when it will punch its postseason ticket.
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Thursday's game against the Golden State Warriors could be a tricky one. Even though Golden State enters with the worst record in the NBA, Stephen Curry is expected to return to the lineup after missing the last 58 games after sustaining a hand injury way back on October 30. This is Toronto's first game back in the Bay Area since clinching the NBA title in Game 6 of last year's NBA Finals. That game took place at Oracle Arena while Thursday will be the Raptors' first time playing in the Warriors' new arena in downtown San Francisco.
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If the Raptors do not clinch on Thursday, their next opportunity would come on Friday when the Wizards host the Atlanta Hawks.
The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.