Raptors to face league's elite in NBA's return to action schedule

William Lou
NBA reporter

The NBA announced the Toronto Raptors’ eight-game regular schedule for the league’s planned restart inside Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida.

The Raptors sit three games up on the Boston Celtics for second in the East, and will have a fairly strong chance of retaining their position heading into the playoffs. The NBA invited 22 teams to Orlando, including the 16 playoff teams and an additional six clubs within six games of the eighth seeds.

Toronto’s schedule is as follows:

Opponent

Date (Time ET)

Head-to-head

Lakers

Aug 1 (8:30 pm)

1-0

Heat

Aug 3 (1:30 pm)

0-2

Magic

Aug 5 (8:00 pm)

3-0

Celtics

Aug 7 (9:00 pm)

1-2

Grizzlies

Aug 9 (2:00 pm)

0-0

Bucks

Aug 10 (6:30 pm)

0-2

Sixers

Aug 12 (6:30 pm)

2-1

Nuggets

Aug 14 (TBD)

0-1

It’s hard to take the head-to-head records entirely at face value, as the Raptors have been plagued by injuries for most of the season. In their lone meeting with Denver, they were without both Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, leaving them helpless against Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. Similarly, in their loss to the Celtics on Christmas Day, they played without Gasol, Norman Powell and Pascal Siakam. Gasol and Powell also missed the Raptors’ most recent loss to the Bucks.

As for now, the Raptors were the first team to travel to Florida in anticipation of the restart, where they are quarantining and taking careful precautions. Florida has become one of the worst epicenters for COVID-19, with over 123,000 total active cases in the state. There were 5,000 new cases diagnosed on Friday, which would rank seventh overall if Florida were its own country. The United States as a whole ranks first in total cases with over 2.5 million to date.

A total of 16 NBA players out of 302 that were tested have tested positive for COVID-19, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. All members of the Raptors’ travelling party tested negative back in March when the season was suspended.

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