The Toronto Raptors have released their 2013-2014 NBA schedule. We’re always interested to know how “friendly” each season’s schedule is; whether there’s a bunch of 4-games-in-5-nights to worry about, when the “big” teams are coming to town, how many games there are on the longest road trip, etc.
The new season kicks off on October 30 at home against Boston, but then 6 of the next 8 games are on the road. Perhaps it’s my contrary nature, but I like early roadies. It means more home games late in the season, and one hopes lengthy trips provide a chance for players to bond. December features 9 road games, with only 6 at home.
We get our first chance to boo Andrea Bargnani during the week between Christmas and New Year. The Raps play the Knicks in New York on Friday the 27th, then continue the fun with a rematch 24 hours later at the Air Canada Centre. It’s going to get loud. The NBA has wised up – we play these guys again twice more in April, when one hopes each game will have significant playoff implications.
The NBA Champion Miami Heat come to Toronto twice in November, but the Raps’ other 2 games against LeBron and his pals are in Florida in ’14. The first visit initiates one of those wretched 4-in-5 affairs, which I think are a blight on the League. Talk about an invitation to injury! At least the distances for this one aren’t too bad, as 2 home games bookend trips to Charlotte and Indiana.
The Raps have a western swing beginning the last day of January, with 5 straight ending in Los Angeles against the Clippers. That team is likely to be a LOT better than than their glamourous LA-LA land buddies in purple & gold, who come to Toronto but once, in January. The Clips make their only visit the following week.
By the time we sing Auld Lang Syne, the Raps will have 30 games in the books, and we should have a reasonable idea of where this team stands. Late February & early March offers a big 6-game home stand, with a match against Cleveland the only break. The last month of the season is April, in which the Raps get the benefit of having played so many road games early. We have 5 at home, and 3 away.
I like this year’s schedule a lot better than last’s, and I hope we’re still in the playoff hunt when the season closes at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks.
Brian Boake is Senior Editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.
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