May 4, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors fans after a loss to the Brooklyn Nets in game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre. Brooklyn defeated Toronto 104-103. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Raptors schedule includes lots of early home games: is that a positive?

May 4, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey talks to his team during a break in the action against the Brooklyn Nets in game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre. Brooklyn defeated Toronto 104-103. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The release of the Toronto Raptors schedule for ’14-’15 has produced a flurry of raised eyebrows. One of the most striking elements is the large number of home games our guys play early. Nine of our first twelve games are in the friendly confines of the Air Canada Centre. I can’t remember such a benevolent start to a season, and when my memory fails me, it’s time to do some research. Let’s go back over the last five seasons, and compare them to the upcoming season’s first dozen games.

The data is below, in a table. A few conclusions leap to mind. First, the NBA has used the Raps as its Designated Visting Punching Bag for years. Not once has our team ever enjoyed a preponderance of early home games; the closest season to balance was 6 home and 6 away in ’11-’12. Secondly, getting off to a positive start is a pre-requisite for success – or perhaps I’ve got that upside-down. Our team has not posted a winning record after 12 games even once, so we don’t know what that’s like. However, what’s painfully clear from the historical record is this: if you start badly, it’s hellish difficult to recover. Last season was the first time in the study period in which the Raps recovered from another crummy start to post a winning record.

I don’t know what criteria the anonymous NBA scheduling gnomes use to guide their task. Is nine home games in twelve a reward for last year’s success? We’ll never know, although that appears a feasible conclusion to draw. Another one: this year’s Raptors have no excuse for a poor start to their season.

SEASON
HOME
GAMES
AWAY
GAMES
RECORD
FINAL
2014 - 201593??
'13 - '145 [2-3]
7 [3-4]
5-748-34
'12 - '135 [2-3]
7 [1-6]
3-934-48
'11 - '126 [2-4]
6 [2-4]
4-823-43
(short)
'10 - '114 [1-3]
8 [2-6]
3-922-60
'09 - '104 [1-3]


8 [2-6]
3-940-42

 

 

 

 

Tags: Toronto Raptors

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