TORONTO – The Raptors host the Washington Wizards on Wednesday in their first season opener at Scotiabank Arena in two years. Here are five more games to watch this season:
February 3 against the visiting Miami Heat:
Considered the greatest Raptor of all time, Kyle Lowry crushed Raptors fans when he left for Miami in the offseason in hopes of chasing another NBA championship. Lowry and the Heat make their first trip to Toronto on February 3, and the cheering for the six-time NBA All-Star and lovable curmudgeon will be deafening.
Dec. 28 vs. visiting Philadelphia 76ers:
The Sixers visit Toronto full 930 days after the Raptors beat Golden State to win the 2019 NBA championship, and Danny Green will finally get his ring. Green played just one season in Toronto, but was a starter in the Raptors’ run to Larry O’Brien.
In normal times, Green would have received his ring when his 2019-2020 team, the Los Angeles Lakers, played in Toronto, but that game never happened because of COVID-19. The Raptors called Tampa, Florida, their home last season, although it wasn’t really home, and Green said he wanted to receive the ring in front of Toronto fans. Philadelphia visited Toronto this preseason, but the Raptors want to honor the shooting specialist properly in the regular season.
October 29 against the visiting Orlando Magic:
Raptors fans were stumped and some upset when Toronto selected Florida State’s Scottie Barnes over Jalen Suggs with the No. 4 pick in the NBA draft. In the weeks since, Barnes has become a fan favorite with his high-energy game and megawatt smile to go along with it.
The Magic took Suggs down at No. 5. Gonzaga’s point guard had said he would make passing teams pay when they found themselves on the NBA court. Bragging rights will be at stake when the two rookies play in Toronto.
March 1, against the visiting Brooklyn Nets:
There are numerous intriguing stories surrounding the Nets, who are the favorites to win the championships. With a star-studded trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, the Nets made several key offseason additions, including veteran guard Patty Mills. And they are led by Steve Nash, one of the favorites to be the coach of the year, who is loved by the Canadian basketball fan base.
February 12, against the visiting Denver Nuggets:
Nuggets point guard and Kitchener, Ontario native Jamal Murray was having a fabulous season when he suffered a tear on the previous crusader in April. His absence was painfully felt not only by the Nuggets, who were eliminated by Phoenix in the first round of the playoffs, but also by the Canadian team, which lost in the semifinals of a last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament in Victoria.
While there is no timeline for Murray’s return, there is a chance that he will return to the court when the Nuggets visit Scotiabank Arena.
This Canadian Press report was first published on October 18, 2021.
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