The Bulls defeated the Hawks on Wednesday night to ensure they will finish as the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Chicago moved into third after the Raptors fell in Boston on Tuesday night. As a result, the fourth seeded Raptors will face the Washington Wizards in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Instead of facing the Bulls, who the Wizards beat in last year's playoff series and have enjoyed a fair share of success against recently, they'll be facing the Raptors, who have dominated their recent meetings. Since the start of the 2013-14 season, the Raptors are 6-1 against the Wizards, including 3-0 against Washington this season.
While the Wizards' recent track record against Toronto isn't encouraging, the Raptors' performance since the All Star break should provide a glimmer of hope for Wizards fans. Since the break, the Raptors are 13-16.
Earlier this week, Paul Pierce expressed confidence in the Wizards' chances against the Raptors:
"We haven't done particularly well against Toronto, but I don't feel they have the 'It' that makes you worried,'' Pierce said. "There isn't a team I look at in the Eastern Conference that makes me say, 'They are intimidating, we don't have a chance.'
And for what it's worth, former Wizard Gilbert Arenas also appears to be on board with facing the Raptors as well, based on this recent Instagram post:
Im ready.....the #DMV is ready....toronto yall dont want these problems...CANADA im sorry but ur players still dont know ur national anthem songz...unless #drake put that in a song...yall just wasting 5 mins of warmup time...im just saying we have older players..and that #bengay runs out by time the game start....#BULLS u better not drop that game tomorrow....or we frying up some bologna and yes were gonna keep the ring on it..hahahaha #trashtalking101 i need my tickets front row #MsJones