Hey, some Raptors' news!
Yep, as we noted last week, today marks the unveiling of the 2013-14 NBA Schedule, something that was done live this year and broke minutes ago. That means not only the revelation that this year's Christmas Day matches will be Bulls vs Nets, Thunder vs Knicks, Heat vs Lakers, Rockets vs Spurs and Clippers vs Warriors...but also that the Toronto Raptors kick off their 2013-14 campaign on October 30 versus the Boston Celtics home at the ACC!
(That doesn't seem so far away does it.)
Following that, the team hits the road on November 1 to take on the Atlanta Hawks and has to tackle a nice stretchy of six of nine away from the friendly confines of the ACC.
Yep, this seems to be the same story year after year doesn't it?
Fifteen of the club's first 20 road games are in fact against teams that made last year's 2013 playoffs so to say that the first two months will be a challenge is certainly a fair assessment.
I'll leave the in-depth analysis for tomorrow morning's post but suffice to say that by the dawn of 2014, we'll likely have a pretty good idea of a) how good this current roster is and b) what direction Masai Ujiri intends to take the club. With a tough schedule to begin the year, we could be looking at another single digit win start, which might set the "riggin for Wiggins" in earnest.
A few other stats from the team's presser regarding the schedule announcement:
The longest road swing is five games which occurs January 31 - February 7. The longest home stand of the season is four games November 22 - December 1. The team will play 12 of 17 games on the road from December 3 - January 7 and a stretch of 11 of 15 games at Air Canada Centre from February 10 - March 16.
Noteworthy home games on the 2013-14 schedule include two visits from the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat in the season's first month (November 5 and 29), while the new-look Brooklyn Nets come to town November 26 and January 11. Canadians Tristan Thompson and 2013 first-overall draft pick Anthony Bennett will be at Air Canada Centre on February 21 when the Cleveland Cavaliers make their only appearance in Toronto. And, Dwight Howard, James Harden and Jeremy Lin bring the Houston Rockets to Canada on April 2.