Raptors 2021-22 Schedule: Top Games, Championship Odds and Record Predictions

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 20, 2021

FILE - In this May 4, 2021, file photo, Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam dribbles during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles. The shoulder injury that ended Siakam's season early will likely force him to miss the start of next season as well. The Raptors said Friday, June 11, 2021, that Siakam had surgery last week to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, with an anticipated recovery and rehabilitation time of five months.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The bottom fell out on the Toronto Raptors last year as the team finished 27-45 and 12th in the Eastern Conference.

Numerous hardships befell the Raptors, with injuries to all of their key stars. No one started more than 56 of the 72 regular-season games.

In addition, Toronto never played in Canada as the team was forced to temporarily move to Tampa due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Raptors were never truly at home as the team scuffled through a tough season.

It's unclear how the Raptors will rebound, but the team underwent one major change when it sent franchise legend Kyle Lowry to the Miami Heat in a sign-and-trade.

The Raptors added Precious Achiuwa and Goran Dragic from the Miami Heat in return. In addition, Gary Trent Jr., who landed with the Raps when Toronto traded Norman Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers, inked a three-year, $51.8 million deal to stay in town.

Khem Birch, who impressed after signing with the Raptors last April, re-signed with the team. Toronto also added Isaac Bonga and Sam Dekker in free agency.

The biggest addition is Scottie Barnes, the former Florida State forward who has impressed in NBA Summer League action. The No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 draft notably opened his professional career with 18 points and 10 rebounds in a win over the New York Knicks. He has the potential to be a dominant two-way forward and should be able to offer immediate positive contributions.

Fred VanVleet figures to run the point with Lowry gone, and he's more than capable of doing so after averaging 19.6 points and 6.3 assists last year. Trent should slide in as the starting shooting guard, with OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and Birch rounding out the starting five.

Siakam is one to watch this year. After making the 2020 All-Star Game, Siakam struggled a bit to start 2020-21, averaging 18.1 points per game through his first 15 contests. He did rebound later in the year, but he's now the team's clear co-star alongside VanVleet. The Raps will need him to regain his All-Star form to make the playoffs.

With all that in mind, here's how the Raps' schedule shakes out, alongside the top matchups to watch and a season forecast.


2021-22 Raptors Schedule Details

Season Opener: vs. Washington Wizards, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m. ET

Championship Odds: +12000 (via FanDuel)

Entire 2021-22 Schedule: NBA.com


Top Matchups

vs. Miami Heat (Feb. 3 and April 3)

Lowry never got a proper goodbye in Toronto. Like 21 other NBA teams, the Raptors ended their 2019-20 season in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, as the NBA moved into a bubble-like environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Twenty-nine NBA teams were able to return home for the 2020-21 season, but the Raptors were not. Border restrictions amid the pandemic forced the Raptors to find a new home in Tampa's Amalie Arena. Therefore, Lowry hasn't played in Toronto since Feb. 28, 2020.

It's bound to be an emotional return for Lowry, who joined the Raptors in 2012. He had six All-Star appearances and helped lead the team to their only NBA title in 2019. Toronto was a perennial playoff team for much of his tenure thanks to his efforts, and the Raptor faithful will be sure to give him a proper sendoff.


Season Forecast

Record Prediction: 42-40 (No. 8 in Eastern Conference)

Despite losing Lowry, this team has too much talent to sink to the bottom depths of the Eastern Conference. Siakam and VanVleet should be a formidable one-two punch, and they're coached by one of the game's best in Nick Nurse. Anunoby is back and should be a menace on both ends, and the sharpshooting Trent is a big boost to the team's offense. Plus, Barnes has looked good in his limited summer-league action.

The East is tough, featuring the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, a monster big three in Brooklyn and a Philadelphia 76ers team featuring NBA MVP candidate Joel Embiid. It's hard seeing the Raptors finish in the top tier of the league, but they should at worst be fighting for a spot in the play-in tournament.


Must be 21+ and present in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, West Virginia, Colorado, or Tennessee. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. See sportsbook.fanduel.com for details.