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Raptors to play three exhibition games, beginning Dec. 12 at Charlotte

A shortened preseason gets going in just a couple weeks’ time, as the Raptors get back to ball.

Charlotte Hornets v Toronto Raptors Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s hard to believe, but there’s only a weekend between now and the Toronto Raptors reforming ranks in Tampa, Fla. for the start of the 2020-21 season. With camps and team practices opening next week, some more clarity around actual competition came out today — as the abbreviated preseason schedule was released by the NBA.

The Raptors will play three exhibition games starting on December 12, and as follows:

In keeping with the NBA’s plan to limit travel as much as possible, this keeps the Raptors in the southeastern portion of the U.S. for the duration of their exhibition play. Two games in North Carolina will be followed by an all-Florida matchup in their new home, as they take on the defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat. Broadcast details on the preseason games will be announced at a later date.

This all precedes the NBA’s new season starting on December 22 — with a full regular season schedule still forthcoming.

What does this mean basketball-wise? Well, we get to see the Raptors get their sea legs against LaMelo Ball and Devonte’ Graham, a youthful one-two punch for the Hornets. They’ll also get to see if this constipated blockage of contracts can result in decent basketball. (Spoiler: it won’t)

And, of course, we will have the game against the Heat — which always comes with a hope and prayer that nobody on the Raptors gets injured. What a sad way to start a season that would be.

With that, we await the next piece of news from the league. What are you looking forward to in the exhibition games?