7:55 AM ET
TORONTO — With nine games remaining on their regular-season schedule, the Toronto Raptors still have a mathematical chance to land not just the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but the top overall seed in this year’s postseason.
It’s a worthwhile goal — one most teams would strive for. But Raptors coach Nick Nurse isn’t making it a priority.
“We’re going to play this out,” Nurse said before Friday’s loss to the Thunder put Toronto three games back of the top spot in the East. “We’re trying to win each night. [But] where we end up seeded, we end up seeded.”
And when did he decide that was the right approach to take?
“When I got the job,” Nurse said.
His actions, as well as those of the entire Raptors organization, back that up. Ever since suffering a second consecutive embarrassing sweep at the hands of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers last spring, Toronto has focused all of its efforts on reaching new heights in the playoffs.
Nothing — including pursuit of that top overall seed — will see the Raptors deviate from that objective.
“It just doesn’t seem