Raptors deserve Christmas Day game

Can anyone explain why a successful and exciting team such as the Raptors aren’t scheduled for a game on December 25?

There’s considerable prestige attached to playing Christmas Day games in the NBA. It usually means you’re an elite team with marquee players whom people want to see.  The Toronto Raptors check those boxes but were still snubbed from the lineup of games on Christmas.

The usual suspects are slated to ball out on Christmas. The big markets include New York, both LA teams and of course the finals rematch between Cleveland and Golden State. The one match-up that would make Raptor fans raise their eye brows would be the OKC/Minnesota game.  The NBA needs Russell Westbrook on their biggest day and OKC should be there. Minnesota is a different story. Sure they are an up and coming team. But what have they done to deserve an x-mas day game? Nothing really, other than having future stars and big name coach.  Many experts picked them to be in playoff contention and  one of the most exciting teams to watch. At 7-19 all they’ve proven is that they are not ready for the limelight and still learning how to win.

Dec 5, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) reacts to comments from players on the Cleveland Cavaliers bench (not pictured) in the second half at Air Canada Centre. Cleveland won 116-112. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Raptors have not only had a great season but a great past few campaigns. They’ve made the playoffs the last three years and made the Eastern Conference finals last year. They are 20-8 this year and have the sixth-best record in the NBA. The Raps have a top-3 shooting guard in DeMar DeRozan and a great point guard in Kyle Lowry. DeRozan has ripped apart the NBA averaging 28 ppg. His mid-range game has been unguardable.

Here’s something long overdue

Respect is a thing Toronto players, coaches, and fans have been begging for from the NBA. Instead, our team has been granted missed calls, sorry’s from the NBA and horrible schedules. Proving to be elite and not be rewarded, just doesn’t seem right. The best players and teams going up against each other is what is expected from the NBA on Christmas Day. The Raps won’t be able to compete with the markets like New York or LA but they should be given a chance too. There isn’t much more they could do to prove their elite status and deserving of an Xmas match-up.

Who would they play? They don’t really have a major rival in the NBA but no one would complain seeing  Westbrook and #10 on the Raptors go at it. It doesn’t really matter who they face but the Raptors deserve to play and represent Canada on Christmas Day. A top team in the league with one of the best players – that should be enough to crack the list.