Amit Mann analyzes the rest periods, road heavy months and tough stretches of the Toronto Raptors' 2022-23 NBA schedule.
AMIT MANN: I'm not sure what the NBA was waiting for, maybe a Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell trade, but we finally got an NBA schedule--
--for the 2022, 2023 NBA season. So let's look at the good, bad, and ugly of the Toronto Raptors 82 game slate. But first, before we do that, I got to get you to subscribe to our YouTube channel. We have all kinds of preview stuff on the way, I'm telling you, player profiles, position previews, and more, it's all going to be here. So please, be my Kyle Lowry, help me get paid, subscribe to our channel, like this video, pull up.
All right, let's start with the ugly and work our way up. They got themselves a seven game West Coast road trip at the end of January. It is a gauntlet, it is their longest road trip of the season. They play five games in seven days, it is no fun, no fun at all. They got Sacramento, Golden State in rivalry week, which is kind of strange because they're not really rivals, but it's probably more so because it just works in the schedule.
Then they got Portland on the back to back, Phoenix, Utah, Houston, and then Memphis to close it out. Toronto typically has two West Coast trips, one at the beginning of the season, but the NBA has decided to put it all into one. So kind of good actually, get it all over with. And while they don't have a beginning of the season West Coast trip, they do have kind of a rough start.
You got Cleveland on opening night, Brooklyn, whatever kind of team they're going to be, Miami in one of those back to back games in Miami. The NBA's is saying it's to inspire competition and all that kind of stuff, but really just trying to save money, that's all it is. And then Philly in back to back games in Toronto. This is one of their two five games in seven day stretches, the other one is in that West Coast road trip. So a great measuring stick to start the season.
Toronto is also tied with 10 other teams for the second most three games in four night periods. So improve depth, Otto Porter Jr., Chris, JYD, Boucher, Thad Young, among other players, this is where the depth is really going to pay off for the Toronto Raptors. And hopefully, some better injury luck, hopefully. Moving to the bad, and there really isn't a disproportionately bad month for the Toronto Raptors during the season. Each month features a similar amount of road and away games and also a similar amount of games against teams that are projected to be above 500 squads. But last season the Raptors really took advantage of their March, April schedule, which was a little bit lighter, and that helped them catapult to fifth in the Eastern Conference.
This year might be a little bit trickier because their March and April is kind of tough. In their final 19 games over March and April almost all of their opponents will be above 500 teams or near there. They play Denver and Milwaukee twice, plus Charlotte and Boston times two in a late season four game road trip, got Washington, who I think are going to be a lot better this season, three times, and the Clippers, Philadelphia, Miami, and Minnesota. Not fun at all. Thankfully, there's only two back to backs in there.
And hopefully, overall, some of these games in April don't matter as much because the Raptors will have solidified their spot in the Eastern Conference, hopefully, in that top four or so. Right? Yeah.
- We'll have to see. I don't know.
AMIT MANN: Moving to the good. And outside of a few stretches, the Toronto Raptors schedule, this is probably one of the better ones they've had in recent memory. The NBA is very competitive right now. There's a lot of really good teams in the league and there's a lot of up and coming teams so the NBA is at its competitive peak, if you will. So there's always going to be tough games, but Toronto should be rested for most of these games.
They're tied for second with nine other teams who have five games where they're coming off 3 plus days rest. They're tied with the Cavs for third with the most fresh or rest advantage games. And on the other side, have the third least tired or rest disadvantage games. Plus, second in the NBA for games played with one or two days of rest situations, tied for fewest back to back games with 12. Last season they had 14.
And according to positive residual strength of schedule data, Toronto has the 11th easiest schedule in the NBA and they're traveling the second fewest miles. And if you care about this kind of thing, which I know some of you do, they got nine games that will be nationally broadcasted in the US, if you care about that kind of stuff. It is what it is. Not a bad number, not a great number, but not bad.
So lots of numbers there, but from a schedule standpoint the Raptors are in a great position to have themselves a terrific season. They won 48 games last year, Vegas for some reason has their over/under total set at 46.
- That's crazy bro.
AMIT MANN: Go make some money, go make some future money. The Raptors are going to eclipse that, they're going to hit 50 plus wins. I have no doubt about it. Scottie Barnes, sophomore season, he's going to be unreal. Pascal, I am on a mission, Siakam, he's going to be awesome. Healthy Fred internal growth, so forth. Nick Nurse hates losing regular season games. All right.
- Come on it's Nicky Nurse, baby. What do you think?
AMIT MANN: They're going to eclipse 50 wins or at least get to 50 wins, I have no doubt about it. This team is going to do that. And in the meantime, as I said, pull up here for all your Raptors preview content. We're going to have all kinds of season is almost here. No more Rico Hines runs, no more training workout videos, we actually get to watch the Raptors on television.
It's going to be awesome so like, subscribe. We're your source for your preview stuff and, please do, enjoy the rest of your summer. We're going to talk to you very soon. Have fun.