The Toronto Raptors found out what the beginning of their all-important 2022-23 season is going to look like thanks to the NBA’s annual schedule release. Fresh off winning 48 games one year ago and surprising the rest of the basketball landscape, the Raptors need to hit the ground running this season.
Even with the Kevin Durant trade rumors flowing, every other team in the Atlantic Division promises to be at least a threat in the postseason. With teams at the top of the division getting stronger, the Raptors will not waltz into 50 wins by going half-speed.
The Raptors also have to contend with the fact that the East is as good as it has been, from the best team to the worst, as it has been in a long time. There aren’t any true bottom-feeders they can check off as an automatic win. To be frank, the Raptors will need to prove themselves.
Fans should keep these three dates circled on their calendar. With this squad in need of a strong start and a quality interdivisional record if they are going to withstand all of the momentum they picked up, the margin for error is nothing short of razor-thin.
Toronto Raptor schedule 2022-23: 3 dates to watch.
Home Opener vs. Cavaliers: 10/19
The Raptors’ season will begin against another young Eastern up-and-comer in the Cavaliers. While the Cavs were knocked out in the play-in tournament, they were nearly neck-and-neck with the Raptors in the standings before injuries took hold of that roster.
With Barnes’ prime Rookie of the Year competition in Evan Mobley sharing the floor with Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland gives the Cavaliers the ability to put up points in a hurry and defend the rim like no other. With the Raptors sticking to their 6-9 project, this could present a size mismatch.
The Toronto Raptors will compete with the Cavaliers in 2022.
It took a while for the Raptors to start firing on all cylinders last year. With a thin rotation and lack of quality shooters, a Pascal Siakam-less lineup struggled to get into second gear. The Raptors may not be as fortunate in 2022-23, given how young teams like Cleveland are more experienced.
The Raptors were active in the offseason, as Otto Porter Jr. made the trip up north, both Chris Boucher and Thad Young were retained in free agency, and Christian Koloko was drafted. Those new arrivals could give the Raptors a slight edge in this matchup.