It’s official: The Wizards will face the Raptors in the first round of the 2018 playoffs.
The Wizards’ loss to the Magic in the season finale on Wednesday night ensured Washington will enter the playoffs as the eighth seed. Toronto locked up the top seed in the Eastern Conference over the weekend.
Here is what the schedule will look like for the series:
Game 1 in Toronto - Saturday, April 14 at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington and ESPN.
Game 2 in Toronto - Tuesday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington and NBA TV.
Game 3 in Washington - Friday, April 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington and ESPN 2.
Game 4 in Washington - Sunday, April 22 at 6:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington and TNT.
Game 5 (if necessary in Toronto) - Wednesday, April 25. Time and TV TBD.
Game 6 (if necessary in Washington) - Friday, April 27. Time and TV TBD.
Game 7 (if necessary in Toronto) - Sunday, April 29. Time and TV TBD.
Washington won’t be favored heading into their series with Toronto, but the Wizards will have more confidence than your typical eight seed heading into the playoffs. Lest we forget, the Wizards swept the Raptors in 2015, even though Washington didn’t have homecourt advantage in the series.
Toronto has improved quite a bit since then, but Washington gave them plenty of problems in their head-to-head meetings this season. The Wizards split the season series with the Raptors—including a win in Toronto, where only seven teams have won this season—even though John Wall missed all four games with various injuries.
Of course, it’s hard to talk about pulling off a big upset just seconds after losing to the Orlando Magic. The Wizards need to get their act together fast. They’ve only won one game in April and they’ve dropped 14 of their last 21 games. We’ll find out this weekend if the Wizards can flip the switch once the playoffs begin.
In brighter news, the Wizards’ loss ensures they will hold the 15th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the highest possible selection a team can hold while making the playoffs. So they’ve got that going for them at least.