Raptors 2021 Schedule: Top Games, Updated Championship Odds and Predictions

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IFebruary 24, 2021

Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam drives to basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. The Blazers won 112-111. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
Steve Dykes/Associated Press

After a disappointing start to the NBA season, the Toronto Raptors found enough steam at the end of the first half of the campaign to enter the second half teetering on "average" territory.

Toronto went 2-8 to start the year, but now sit fifth in the Eastern Conference at 16-16.

Fred VanVleet is leading the way, with 19.8 points and 6.7 assists per game. Pascal Siakam is close behind, with 20.6 points and a team-best 7.7 rebounds per outing.

Amid speculation that he could be on the move ahead of the trade deadline, Kyle Lowry is posting 17.7 points, 6.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds. 

Here's a look at what the Raptors will have to face in their bid to be a playoff team for the eighth straight season. 


2020-21 Raptors Schedule Details

Second-Half Opener: Raptors vs. Atlanta Hawks; Thursday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. ET. 

Championship Odds: (via FanDuel): 55-1

Second-Half Schedule: NBA.com


Top Matchups

Brooklyn Nets (April 21 and 27)

If the Raptors are truly going to establish themselves as contenders in the Eastern Conference again this season, the Nets are a team they will likely be forced to contend with come playoff time.

Brooklyn is currently the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference behind its superstar trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.

The way things are shaping up currently, the Raptors could have to face the Nets in the first or second round of the playoffs should they make it.

Matchups with Brooklyn on April 21 and 27 will be a great measuring stick for the Raptors to see where they stand among the best teams in the conference.


Los Angeles Clippers (May 4 and 11)

The Raptors will fight for positioning in the Eastern Conference throughout the second half of the schedule, but chances against the other contenders are limited. There are two games against the Brooklyn Nets, but the team will be done with games against the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers by the All-Star break.

It leaves few must-win games, but there are still a pair of exciting matchups on the schedule when Kawhi Leonard lines up against Toronto.

Leonard notably helped the Raptors win the NBA title in 2019 before leaving for the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency. He was supposed to lead the Clippers to their own title in 2020 while Toronto was expected to struggle, although neither season went as planned. Both squads reached the conference semifinals before losing in seven games.

This will be another opportunity to show the superstar what he is missing with a team that continues to compete.

VanVleet and Siakam will do their best to match up with Leonard and Paul George in what should be a pair of close battles.


Season Forecast

The Raptors found their stride at the end of the first half, but they will need to start trending toward elite if they want a chance at competing with the conference-leading Philadelphia 76ers or the Milwaukee Bucks. 

With little help behind VanVleet and Siakam, though, Toronto needs more time before it can contend for a title again. After all, just seven players from the 2018-19 championship squad are rostered with the Raptors. 

Aron Baynes hasn't been productive this season in front of Chris Boucher, who has broken out in his fourth year in the league and posted better stats than Baynes but has started just once.

With DeAndre' Bembry, Terence Davis, Norman Powell and Yuta Watanabe joining Boucher in making up the team's second line, there's a depth problem in Toronto that needs to be addressed before the team can consider itself serious contenders again in the East. 


Record Prediction: 33-39


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