I have been doing this for 5 years now, so looking at the Raptors Schedule, as we go back to a regular schedule this year after Lockout shorten one, it looks like a pretty typical schedule. Raptors as they have in past years will spend a lot of time on the road for the remainder of 2012. They will see there longest road trip of the season at the start of December(@ Denver, Sacramento, Utah, Clippers, Portland). It will be a case of survival in 2012 and try to be still in the hunt when the calender turns to 2013. Once it does the Raptors will have a 6 game home stand. (vs Portland, Sacramento, OKC, Philly, Charlotte and Milwaukee) When you combine that long road trip and home stand it is roughly an 1/8 of the schedule and it might just be a reflection of the Raptors season. Although another thing will be key will be how the Raptors manage in their own division. I feel in general the Atlantic has improved. Those 16 games in division could tell the story. If the Raptors can be close to .500 they might stand a chance at being a playoff team. If they fail to do that I would not think they have much hope. You can also argue there are no longer any easy wins for Toronto in the division when you consider the improvements the Nets made. While no one in the Atlantic will be a challenge for the likes of Miami they all will be competitive teams and all would be expecting to make the post season with a legit claim to get there. It won't be easy.
One thing that really was not going the Raptors way was when they will face Chicago. The latest news says Derrick Rose could be out now until March. Raptors only see the Bulls once of the three times the teams will meet prior to March. An April 9th & 12th home and home with Bulls did the Raptors no favours. Also when you consider the Bulls will be charging hard to make up ground without Rose as they approach the end of the season. Just one of the unlucky breaks of the schedule. When you look at the first 10 games for the Raptors they have a chance to get off to a decent start. But they will have tests vs Pacers (2- 1 home 1 away) OKC, Dallas and Boston all on the road. They also will play the home opener for the Nets in Brooklyn which will be a tough road challenge. In the end the schedule is what it is. At the end of it you play all the teams and have 41 at home and 41 on the road. No team has every won or lost a championship based on a schedule that I am aware of. The schedule is dynamic as well. Sometimes you will catch breaks with injuries and other times you will have your own injuries to endure. To speculate full on the schedule now based on just dates on a piece of paper is a little bit foolish. It does give you an indication on what type of path faces your club though. This path is one that is pretty much what Raptor fans have come to expect.
In terms of T.V it is same old store. No ESPN or TNT for the Raptors. People saying winning changes that but even when the Raptors were good they never have been a part of TNT on Thursday Nights. Honestly I am not sure why this matters for Raptor fans in this country. I get why would for fans outside of Canada and why it does for the players. Charles Barkley told you a long time ago TNT is Bias against Canada. He was joking about it but in a way they are. If you put the Raptors on TNT it is not in their best interest. They are basically eliminating a market of viewers to watch their game. TNT is not available in Canada unless you have a satellite dish...just ask Chris Bosh. So they would rather have two main markets to draw from. It isn't as much bias against Canada or the Raptors as it is just simple business. MLSE is not likely to petition the league to be on TNT or ESPN either considering they hold a monopoly on the broadcast rights here in Canada.
Aside from the schedule it would not shock me if John Lucas III is a Raptor by the time we talk again on Monday. It seems things are just about done and some smart fans noticed the Raptors had starting following him on Twitter. A clear tip off he soon will be signed on to the roster. Yes Twitter once again breaking a story. It is just common place in this modern world. I think the media would grind to a stop if Twitter were down for 24 hours. Well perhaps not but people would actually have to do work and research like the old days. Imagine if Google went down at the same time. Oh mass panic would set in for sure. Olympics getting going today so good luck to our Canadian Athletes and especially the Women's basketball team who did something the Men have not done since Steve Nash played for them, that is qualify for the Olympics.
Barring anything earth shaking news wise I will see you all on Monday.