The NBA has officially unveiled its 2022-23 schedule, and the Toronto Raptors — shockingly! — will play 82 games, 41 at home, 41 on the road, with 30 games against the West and 52 against the East.
Now that I’ve channeled my inner Doug Smith and got my cranky old man lede out of the way (shoutout to the legend), let’s do the proper thing and break this down a little further, shall we?
The Raptors will open the 2022-23 NBA season at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, October 19; a sophomore battle between Scottie Barnes and Evan Mobley seems like a good way to tip things off, no?
And hey, as our guy Jay Rosales noted yesterday, the Raptors are 3-0 when they start the season vs. the Cavs!
As we wait for tomorrow's schedule release for Toronto, here are some opening day numbers:— Jay Rosales (@Rosalesaurus) August 16, 2022
Overall: 16-11 (13-8 vs East)
Longest win streak: 7 (2013-2019)
Longest losing streak: 3 (1999-2001)
Most common opponents: CLE (3-0) WAS (1-2) BOS (1-2) NJN (2-1)
The Raptors will then hop on the road and head down to Brooklyn, where they’ll face the Nets — and whoever the heck plays for them and coaches them — on Friday, October 21.
They’ll also have their first rematch with the Philadelphia 76ers since Pascal Siakam broke Joel Embiid’s face (and the Sixers ran the Raptors off the court) in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series last season, at home on Wednesday, October 26; as part of the league’s efforts to cut down on travel and back-to-backs, they’ll play the Sixers at home, again, on the 28th. (Philly’s getting those Thybulle-less games out of the way early, I guess!)
The Raptors don’t have a Christmas Day game this year; they also get Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day off! Christmas comes early, though, for Lakers fans in TO: LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will come to town on Wednesday, December 7. Will this be LeBron’s final game in Toronto? Probably not just yet — he just inked a two-year extension, after all — but I’d try and grab tickets for that one just to be safe.
Speaking of LA teams visiting TO, Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers will be here on December 7.
And what about Raptors legends? DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls will visit on November 6, and the GROAT Kyle Lowry will be here November 16. Will these two get another tribute video? Probably, but keep ‘em coming, I say.
In terms of national TV exposure in the United States, the Raptors will play the Milwaukee Bucks on ESPN (at home) on January 4, and the Bucks again on TNT (in Milwaukee) on January 17. They’ll face Kawhi and the Clippers in LA on ESPN on March 8, and Lowry and the Heat in Toronto on TNT on March 28.
Oh, and the defending champs? The Golden State Warriors will be here December 18!
What matchups are you most looking forward to this season? Let us know in the comments!