A few years ago, thinking of seeing the Toronto Raptors in one of NBA’s top seed spots was just not realistic. Besides, with LeBron James’ dominance in the East, whether it was in Cleveland or in Miami, it was simply hard to imagine any other team making it to the NBA Finals. However, the King took his talents to the Western Conference a couple of years ago and, since then, things have been really different for this side of the league.
There are at least three top teams in the East now, which have consistently been fighting for the conference’s top spots; Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics. We can add, of course, a fourth team that is playing in the second round of the playoffs right now, Miami Heat. But let’s focus on the Boston vs Toronto series, the Celtics were the ones called to take the top spot once the Cavs were history, and they fought hard, and keep fighting for it, but the team that actually went all the way was the Raptors, they went so far that they became last season’s NBA Champions, after defeating everyone in the East, and then the mighty Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green left the team right after winning the championship, and many thought the team was done, but Nick Nurse and his crew proved everyone wrong and here they are, competing again to get to the Conference Finals.
Now the Raptors face quite a big challenge if they want to be able to retain their ring, the Celtics are no picnic, and worst of all, they already lost game 1 of the series. There is no need to panic, of course, if we have learned anything so far is that anything can happen in the bubble, and in a 7-game series, there are no real favorites after just one game.
Celtics vs Raptors – Odds to win the series
After Boston’s win in game 1 of the series, the updated line for them to advance is -170, while the Raptors pay +150. As we said, many things can still happen in this series, and that’s why the line is not too high, if Toronto gets a win in the second game, things will be even again, pretty much, regarding odds, so, in a bettors eyes, it might even be a good time to bet on the NBA Champions, now that they’re down, as many analysts and experts see this as one of the toughest series to predict in these NBA playoffs and expect the series to go a long way, to a game 6 at least, but most probably, a game 7.
Both teams are healthy right now, the Raptors got Kyle Lowry back from his injury, and let’s not forget, Nick Nurse just won the Coach of the Year award, and there’s a reason for that.
How do you see this series going in the end? Who will go to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics, or the Raptors? We’re about to find out!