The NBA has officially released the schedule for it’s eight-game “seeding” season, which starts July 30 in Orlando. The defending champion Toronto Raptors will open their mini-season on August 1 against potential Finals opponent LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Nothing like jumping right into the deep end, eh?
From there, the Raptors will play seven additional games:
- vs. Miami Heat, August 3, 1:30 p.m.
- vs. Orlando Magic, August 5, 8:00 p.m.
- vs. Boston Celtics, August 7, 8:00 p.m.
- vs. Memphis Grizzlies, August 9, 2:00 p.m.
- vs. Milwaukee Bucks, August 10, 6:30 p.m.
- vs. Philadelphia 76ers, August 12, 6:30 p.m.
- vs. Denver Nuggets, August 14, time TBD
The Raptors restart schedule is here. pic.twitter.com/8hzhsJ3WfD— Raptors HQ (@RaptorsHQ) June 26, 2020
So, not an easy schedule, with games against pretty much all of the Eastern Conference contenders!
Using that metric -- counting only the games involving the 22 teams left -- here's who has the hardest schedule in the seeding round ...— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 26, 2020
... and the easiest
I guess on the good news front, there’s only one back-to-back, and hey, we finally get our long-awaited matchup against Jonas Valanciunas the Memphis Grizzlies!
We’ll update the list with Canadian TV info as soon as we have it.
As for the rest of the league, the “opening night” of the restarted season* will see two marquee matchups: Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans will take on Rudy “Patient Zero” Gobert and the Utah Jazz at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by the latest Battle of LA, Clippers vs. Lakers, at 9 p.m. ET.
Reports also indicate there will be maximum of seven games in any single day; tip-offs will always be between 12 p.m. and 9 p.m.; and the teams will play on three different courts (with no fans, of course), with two of those courts being suitable for national TV games.
Oh, and how about the Playoffs? They’ll officially start August 17 (with any play-in games happening August 15-16), and the NBA Finals will start September 30. (Man, that is really weird to type.)
Here’s when the NBA playoffs and Finals will start - Aug. 17 and Sept. 30 pic.twitter.com/DUJJE7yZDY— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 26, 2020
What do you think of the Raptors schedule? Do you think they’re secure in the two-seed, or are you worried about them falling to third?
* We need a better name for this thing. The COVID Cup? The Bad News Basketball Tournament? Hit us up in the comments if you have any ideas!