We'll get into the ins and outs of this tomorrow morning but hot off the press via the Raptors' PR folks, here is the schedule for next season...
The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday their 2010-11 regular season schedule highlighted by two games in London, England. The Raptors will face the New Jersey Nets on Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5 at The O2 arena. Both games will be considered road contests for the Raptors.
This will mark the first time the NBA has played regular season games in Europe. Toronto faced the Boston Celtics and Lottomatica Roma in Rome, Italy and Real Madrid in Madrid, Spain in preseason games in October 2007.
The Raptors will tip-off their 16th season in the National Basketball Association at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday, October 27 versus Amar'e Stoudemire and the New York Knickerbockers. The October 27 open is the earliest in franchise history (October 28 last season). This also marks the 11th time in team history the club has started the regular season at home.
Toronto's road debut is set for Monday, November 1 as the club makes its lone visit of the season to Sacramento. This is the fifth time the Raptors' first road game of the season will be against a Western Conference foe (San Antonio in 2002, Minnesota in 2003, Sacramento in 2004 and Memphis in 2009).
The schedule begins with eight of the first 12 games away from Toronto. The first set of four road games is November 1-6 at Sacramento, Utah, the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland. The second set of four is from November 12-17 at Orlando, Miami, Washington and Philadelphia. The club will then play seven of its next eight games at home from November 19 - December 5.
The longest road swing is five games January 15-22 and March 21-26. The longest home stand of the season is four games which occurs on four occasions (November 28 - December 5, December 15-22, February 9-16 and February 23 - March 1). The Raptors will have eight of nine games at home from February 9 - March 1, which includes the All-Star Break, and 12 of 16 at Air Canada Centre from February 9 - March 18.
Other noteworthy games on the 2010-11 schedule include two afternoon visits to Toronto by the defending Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics on November 21 and January 2; Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder visit town Wednesday, December 3; Kobe Bryant and the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers appear on Sunday, January 19; Dwyane Wade and his Miami Heat come to Toronto on February 16 and for the regular season finale April 13; Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns make their only regular season trip to Canada on Friday, February 25; and Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic will visit the ACC only once in 2010-11 on Sunday, April 3.
Toronto will play its seventh season in the Atlantic Division, joining Boston, New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia. The Raptors were a member of the Central Division from 1995-2004.
The schedule features four games against divisional foes with two home and two away. The remaining 10 conference teams will be played twice at home and on the road with the exception of four teams - two will be played once at home and twice on the road (Indiana and Orlando) and two will be faced twice at home and once on the road (Atlanta and Cleveland). Each Western Conference team will be played once at home and on the road.
The busiest day for the Raptors this season will be Wednesday with 23 games on the schedule. Wednesday features a season-high 15 home games at Air Canada Centre. On the road, the busiest day is Friday and Saturday with nine games each.
The majority of the team's home games will fall on the weekend with 12 games on a Friday and 11 on a Sunday, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the 41 home dates.
The Raptors' busiest months are October/November and January with 17 games. The busiest home months are October/November, December and February with eight games, while the busiest road month will be January with the Raptors facing 10 games away from Toronto. The schedule is evenly balanced with 20 home and 21 road games for the first half of the season and 21 home and 20 road outings for the final 41 contests.
The Raptors will have 18 back-to-back games this season (down three from last season), with a high of nine being a road game followed by a road game.
The Raptors will release their 2010 preseason schedule Thursday. The team's 2010-11 local television schedule will be released at a later date. For the fifth consecutive season, all 82 Raptors games will be aired nationally in Canada.
Games by Month
October/November: 17 (8 home, 9 away)
Games by Day
Tuesday: 8 (1 home, 7 away)
Thursday: 0 (0 home, 0 away)
Saturday: 9 (0 home, 9 away)
4 games: 11/28 vs. Atlanta, 12/1 vs. Washington, 12/3 vs. Oklahoma City, 12/5 vs. New York;
2/9 vs. San Antonio, 2/11 vs. Portland, 2/13 vs. L.A. Clippers, 2/16 vs. Miami;
2/23 vs. Chicago, 2/25 vs. Phoenix, 2/27 vs. Dallas, 3/1 vs. New Orleans
Longest Road Trip
5 games: 1/15 at Washington, 1/17 at New Orleans, 1/19 at San Antonio, 1/21 at Orlando, 1/22 at Miami;
3/20 at Oklahoma City, 3/21 at Denver, 3/23 at Phoenix, 3/25 at Golden State, 3/26 at L.A. Clippers
Home game, followed by home games: 0 Home game, followed by road game:
Road game, followed by home game: 5 Road game, followed by road game: 9