The Toronto Raptors might be working on getting healthy this Christmas Day, which is not that much different from the team’s usual slate of activities around this time of year. Even when the Raptors were playing quality basketball, the NBA has very rarely given them a primetime spot.
The Raptors have the unfortunate distinction of being one of only three teams in the league with no Christmas Day wins, joining the Grizzlies and Hornets. Unfortunately, those two franchises have an excuse, as they are the only two active teams never to play on Christmas.
Toronto has played on Christmas Day twice in franchise history, both in the aftermath of their only championship and during Vince Carter’s prime. Unfortunately, both Lenny Wilkens and Nick Nurse were unable to lead Toronto to victories in these games.
The Raptors will need to get back in the championship contender tier if they want the NBA to put them on primetime television during the holidays. As it stands right now, their record on Christmas could stand to be just a bit better.
Toronto Raptors Christmas Day complete history
The Raptors fell to 21-10 on the season when Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker combined for 52 points in a 118-102 defeat. Even though Jayson Tatum was 5-18 from the field, the Celtics were able to use Brown and the man formerly known as Enes Kanter to overcome the defending champions.
The Raptors were hampered by injuries in this game. Patrick McCaw was forced to start and play 32 minutes while players like Malcolm Miller saw some rotation time. Fred VanVleet led the team with 27 points, while Chris Boucher chipped in 24 off of the bench. Kyle Lowry and OG Anunoby struggled, as they scored 19 points on 6-19 shooting.
At least the Raptors were able to learn from this loss, going 19-4 in their next 23 games. They were in prime position to compete for a championship again. Then, in March, the craziest thing happened…
Toronto dropped to 15-13 with a loss against the Knicks in this contest. Despite the game being a showcase for Vince Carter, he mustered just 15 points on 6-20 shooting. Morris Peterson led the team on offense with 22 points while Alvin Williams added 18 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
The Knicks led on the combination of Latrell Sprewell and Allan Houston. Houstan lead everyone with 34 points on 13-22 shooting while Spreewell chipped in 21 points in 45 minutes. The Raptors got the last laugh, however, as they made it to the postseason.
The Raptors will need to wait just a bit longer before they can reverse their Christmas bad luck. Hopefully they get that chance in the next few holiday seasons.