Raptors schedule highlights: Barnes opens season against Mobley, Lowry and DeRozan to return

Raptors fans won’t have to wait long before they see Scottie Barnes take on Evan Mobley in a developing rivalry between two of the NBA’s rising stars.

According to the NBA schedule released Wednesday afternoon, the Raptors will open the season at home on Oct. 19 against Mobley’s Cleveland Cavaliers. Barnes edged out Mobley for rookie of the year last season, and many Cavaliers fans were upset with that result.

This will mark 11 consecutive seasons in which the Raptors have held the opening game on their home court. The last time Toronto started a season on the road was in 2011-12, with a 104-96 win at Cleveland on Dec. 26.

The Raptors will close out the season at home against the Milwaukee Bucks on April 9.

low mileage

The Raptors will play at home against the same opponent for two straight regular-season games, hosting Philadelphia on Oct. 26-28, after playing twice in three days against the Heat in Miami earlier in the week.

The league has tried to reduce travel time for teams this season. There are 55 instances of teams playing back-to-back away games against the same opponent, and 33 instances of teams playing back-to-back games against either the Los Angeles or New York teams.

Add it all up and NBA teams will combine to fly about 50,000 fewer miles this season, according to the league.

back to back

While the league has been trying to reduce the number of consecutive games to prevent players from taking time off, the Raptors will play on consecutive days 12 times this season, starting Oct. 21 and against Brooklyn and Miami. They are two consecutive games less than last season.

Longest stretch of road

The Raptors will play their longest road streak on a seven-game Western road trip that begins Jan. 25 in Sacramento and ends Feb. 5 in Memphis. That run includes back-to-back games at Golden State on Jan. 27 and Portland the next day.

The schedule includes two five-game road trips, including one in early March when the Raptors will play two games against Washington before flying to Denver and Los Angeles to take on the Nuggets, Lakers and Clippers.

The Raptors’ longest home streak will be six games, beginning Jan. 4 against the Bucks and ending Jan. 14 against the Atlanta Hawks.

another christmas break

The Raptors will not be a part of the NBA’s five-game Christmas lineup, which probably won’t come as a surprise to fans. Toronto has only played two Christmas games: in 2001, during the Vince Carter era, and after winning the 2019 NBA championship.

The Raptors also don’t have any games scheduled for New Year’s Day.

Start dates to circulate

  • Franchise icon Kyle Lowry and his Miami Heat visit Toronto on March 28.
  • DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls will play at Scotiabank Arena on November 6 and February 28, while Kawhi Leonard, Norman Powell and the Clippers will be in Toronto on December 27.
  • Kevin Durant, whose trade demands have dominated the NBA’s summer news cycle, will play in Toronto on Nov. 23, if he’s still on the Brooklyn Nets’ roster by then.
  • LeBron James, playing in his 20th season, and the Lakers visit on December 7.

  • Splash brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and the champion Golden State Warriors will be in town on December 18.


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