10 Biggest Games on Toronto Raptors' 2012-13 Schedule
This might be the first season in a long time where they might have a chance to legitimately contend for a playoff spot.
If they are to get close to the playoffs, the Raptors are going to have to compete with some tougher teams. They will lose to some of them, but in order to gain respect in this league, they will have to win those games regularly.
Whether they are games against division rivals or the best teams in the league, the Raptors need to take the next step, and winning these games will help them do that.
October 31- vs. Indiana Pacers
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As the season and home opener, it's very important that Toronto gets off to a good start against Indiana.
It won't be easy, as the Pacers were a surprising team last season and will be motivated to prove that their success was not a fluke.
Led by Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert, the Pacers will look to come to Toronto and leave the Raptors with their heads down.
It is imperative that if the Raptors can't come out with a win on opening night, they put up a big fight.
November 3- @ Brooklyn Nets
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The games don't get any easier as the Raptors take on the rejuvenated Brooklyn Nets in the very next game.
The first game in the season series, the Raptors need to show that they can stay ahead of a team that they barely finished above last season.
With all the improvements that Brooklyn made in the offseason, that might prove difficult.
November 6- @ Oklahoma City Thunder
Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
The Raptors first encounter with one of the NBA's elite players; they will take on Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Raptors have historically not done well against teams that have superstars on them, and they need to change that this season.
The Raptors don't have a superstar, and if they are to ever debunk the myth that you need a superstar to win, they need to actually beat those teams, that have a superstar, on a consistent basis.
November 10- vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Another division rival, the Philadelphia 76ers finished much better than the Raptors, and with the trade that brought in Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, they will become an even more difficult opponent.
If the Raptors can shut down those two players, they might stand a chance at winning this season series.
November 17- @ Boston Celtics
Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
The perennial top team in the NBA's Atlantic Division, the Boston Celtics have somehow not caused the Toronto Raptors many problems. Splitting the season series last year, the Raptors have found a way to compete with them.
That trend has to continue this season for the Raptors to be successful.
December 9- @ Los Angeles Clippers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
In their lone game against the Clippers last season, the Raptors suffered a 12-point loss, 103-91.
These teams, who the Raptors only have one game against, may not seem the most important, but if they win the majority of them, it could only help.
January 20- @ Los Angeles Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Games against the Los Angeles Lakers are usually some of the most attended games in Toronto. Last season at the Air Canada Center, the Raptors lost to the Lakers by only two points.
Unfortunately, this game is not in Toronto and with a revamped roster, the Lakers are poised to be one of the teams that kick Toronto's behind back home with a huge loss.
January 23- @ Miami Heat
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Games against the defending NBA Champions are always big.
It's a chance to measure yourself against one of the best and see how you stack up. That is, however, not the reason why this game is so big for the Raptors.
Even years after his departure, there is still a feeling from the fans of, maybe not hatred, but a huge dislike for Chris Bosh. He is the reason this game is big, and he should have a better game since he doesn't have to listen to the occasional boos from the Toronto fans.
Last season, the Raptors went 0-3 against the Miami Heat.
That needs to change.
February 13- vs. New York Knicks
Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
No matter who they have in the lineup, the New York Knicks are one of the Raptors' biggest rivals, and they usually do a good job against them.
The Knicks are another team they split the season series against.
All these season series splits don't do anything to help the Raptors' playoff chances. If they want to improve in the Atlantic Division and get closer to the playoffs, they need to start winning the season series.
The second-place team in the Atlantic last season, New York should be high on Toronto's radar for biggest games to win.
April 17- vs. Boston Celtics
Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
The last game of the season.
Will the Raptors have clinched a playoff spot? Would they have already been eliminated from contention? Could they be fighting for a playoff spot in the very last game?
The Raptors' situation entering their final game will be a big factor as to whether this will be a big game or not. If they are in or have a chance to make the playoffs, then this is a huge game for them.
If not, it's just the end of another failed season.