The NBA Schedule was released last night and the HQ takes a quick look at what this means for the Toronto Raptors...
And just as it ends, it begins again.
Well, the 2012-13 NBA regular season doesn't start tomorrow, or even next month, but withlast night's release of next year's NBA schedule, it's a sign that NBA basketball is not that far away once more.
And this time, Raptors' fans won't have to wait for Christmas for it to begin.
The Toronto Raptors kick off their 2012-13 campaign Hallowe'en Night versus the Indiana Pacers at home, one of their relatively few home matches early on in the season. The Raps play 19 of their first 31 on the road, a trend that seems to be the norm for this team each season.
If the club can keep pace though through that first portion, they'll have some extra home matches later, something that would seem advantageous for a club with some key members being rookies, trying to learn the NBA game. With 18 home games and only nine road games in January and February, hopefully the club can make up any lost ground incurred earlier in the campaign.
The schedule is a bit of a mix in terms of key games (Lowry faces Jeremy Lin as well as his old Rockets' club on November 27 in Houston, Steve Nash and the Lakers make their lone trip on Jan 20 etc) but one thing remains the same as it has since the days of Vince Carter; no nationally televised appearances for the Dinos.
The club has two games on NBA TV (Sunday, November 4. versus Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love and co, and Monday, November 12 versus the Utah Jazz) but is absent from the ABC/ESPN broadcast schedule. While the argument could certainly be made that the Raptors' lack of marquee players and you know, wins, is the reason behind the exclusion, it's tough to see clubs like the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards getting a couple prime time slots.
In any event, I think all of us here at the HQ are looking forward to not just next season, but to a "regular" next season, one that doesn't try to cram 62 games down our throats with multiple back-to-backs etc. This coming year, the Raps do play 17 back-to-backs, but that's down from 20 last season, and minus the brutal back-to-back-to-backs of last campaign.
Tomorrow we'll do a full break-down of how the schedule may impact Toronto's won-loss record (last season we nearly nailed the win total based on it) but for now, let's just say the big takeaway from last night's schedule release is more a lot more sleep for the HQ team come fall.