The 2019-20 NBA season will be one to remember for the Toronto Raptors and their fans.
Coming off the franchise’s first NBA championship, the team has never had more key dates to circle on their calendar at this time of the year.
View this post on Instagram
After a pair of preseason games in Japan, the Raptors will begin the regular season with a ring ceremony and by unveiling their championship banner at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday, October 22.
Their opponent that evening will be the New Orleans Pelicans, meaning that Zion Williamson, the first-overall pick in the 2019 draft, is scheduled to begin his NBA career on Canadian soil.
The opening game will be one of just two league-wide that evening, with Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers taking on LeBron James and the Lakers in the second half of the nationally-televised doubleheader.
Kawhi Leonard will play his first game against the Raptors on November 11 in Los Angeles, before making his anticipated return to Toronto one month later on December 11.
For the first time in franchise history, the Raptors will host a game on Christmas Day, welcoming the Boston Celtics to Scotiabank Arena on December 25.
Other games to keep an eye on:
- RJ Barrett’s first game in Toronto with New York Knicks (November 27)
- DeMar DeRozan returns to Toronto with San Antonio Spurs (January 12)
- NBA Finals rematch vs Golden State Warriors (March 5 in San Francisco, March 16 in Toronto)
- LeBron James and the LA Lakers visit Toronto (March 24)
- Possibly Vince Carter’s last game in Toronto with Atlanta Hawks (April 10)
For fans in British Columbia and Alberta wanting to check out a game, the closest the Raptors will come is their visit to Portland on November 13.
Other fun facts include:
- Raptors are featured on US national television 11 times (six times on ESPN, five on TNT), which is down from 15 last season
- They’ll open on home court for the 10th time in the past 11 seasons
- Sixth-annual Giants of Africa Game, celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela, is scheduled for December 5 at home to the Houston Rockets
- Longest homestand: four games from February 21-28
- Longest road swing: five games (twice) November 8-16 and March 1-9
- Busiest month: December (16 games, 11 at home)
- Busiest day of the week: Wednesday (18 games)
- Raptors play on back-to-back nights 13 times this season (one more than last year)
Here’s their full 2019-20 regular season schedule: