The 2011-12 NBA Schedule was released last night and the HQ breaks down the way things may potentially unfold for the Toronto Raptors.
I've had this feeling before.
It's the one where you know, you're approaching the peak of the biggest loop on a roller coaster, just before you make that huge, precipitous plunge.
You know what's coming, but there's nothing you can do to alter what's about to transpire, and it's going to be so intense, that it will seem over before it's begun.
That's pretty much how I would describe my feelings last night as I perused the recently released 2011-12, abridged, NBA schedule. It's going to be a rush, with the league packing in as many games as possible between Christmas day and April 26.
For the Toronto Raptors this means:
-17 of the team's first 26 games are on the road
-20 back-to-back games
-19 games in the 31 days of January
-A stretch in that January span that includes 8 of 9 straight on the road
How's that for the team's lottery chances?
However if you look closer at things, the schedule doesn't have as many pitfalls as I assumed it would. Yes, the start is pretty rough for sure, but Toronto only has one back-to-back-to-back, and it's against the beatable trio of Minnesota, Washington and Sacramento from January 9 to 11. Other than subbing in the Cavs and Bobcats there, the NBA couldn't have given a team a more favourable "trio" situation.
In addition, Toronto's opponents as laid out in this new schedule had a winning percentage below .500 last year (.495 to be exact), so it's not as if the NBA dealt the Dinos the best possible hand in terms of maximizing ping pong balls.
For fans, unfortunately the abridged schedule means folks like Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant and more importantly, Steve Nash won't be making a trip to the friendly confines of the ACC this year.
As well, only four Sunday home games, the type of matches that were traditionally a staple of a Toronto Raptors' regular season schedule.
But forget the overview, let's dig into things as we did back in July when the original schedule was released, and present a month-by-month look at how Toronto may fare this season, based on the new schedule.