The Toronto Raptors Are Creeping up On the Indiana Pacers

The Toronto Raptors are just three games behind the Wizards for the final playoff spot, and only three and a half games behind the Indiana Pacers.

The NBA play-in tournament begins on May 18, just two weeks from Tuesday, and will likely lead to some exciting finishes in both conferences. 

However, the Indiana Pacers (30-34) may be disappointed if they do not fix things quickly. 

Monday evening's 154-141 loss to the Wizards (30-35) in Washington has the Pacers owning just a half-game lead over the Wizards for the ninth seed. Meanwhile, the Toronto Raptors (27-38) – who are currently playing in Tampa Bay –  are not far behind, just 3.5 games behind the Pacers in the standings. 

With the way things are going, Russell Westbrook and the Wizards appear destined to pass the Pacers and others for a better seed, leaving the Pacers having the tenth seed and fending off the Raptors, who've gone 6-4 over their last ten games. 

The Hornets remain only one game ahead of the Pacers but just got LaMelo Ball back from a wrist injury that kept him sidelined for over a month.

The Pacers are without Myles Turner, who has been out indefinitely with a toe injury, T.J. Warren for the entire season, and Malcolm Brogdon has missed the last two games due to a hamstring injury. 

Meanwhile, the Raptors' star point guard Kyle Lowry scored 37 points and dished out 11 assists, and Pascal Siakam scored 39 points in their win over the Lakers on Sunday evening. 

That next night the Pacers let the Wizards score 154 points. 

Both teams have eight games left, so the Raptors will still have to have a massive hot streak and hope for a very cold streak from the Pacers, but ironically both team's final game of the season is against each other.

On May 16, the Raptors will host the Pacers in Tampa Bay, which could have massive playoff implications.