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Raptors News

Raptors don’t get Christmas game, have 2 national TV games opening week

Not many surprises here.

The NBA announced the schedule for the opening week of the 2018-19 NBA schedule, the 2018 Christmas Day slate, and the 2019 Martin Luther King Day docket on Wednesday.

Christmas Day

Toronto Raptors fans feel pretty passionately about the team’s continued lack of presence on Dec. 25, and while there are understandable reasons, those people probably won’t be happy to see the Raptors shut out of a Christmas game once again. The schedule for the league’s marquee single day is as follows:

The Raptors have not had a Christmas Day game since 2001, their lone appearance.

Opening Week

The NBA also rolled out the schedule for the first week of the season, and the Raptors will appear twice on the marquee schedule. First, they’ll host the Boston Celtics at home on ESPN on Friday, Oct. 19, then visit the Washington Wizards for a playoff rematch on NBA TV on Saturday, Oct. 20. The full schedule for the opening week is as follows:

Martin Luther King Day

While it’s not a holiday here in Canada, the NBA loads up the schedule for Martin Luther King Day in the U.S. The Jan. 21 national TV schedule is as follows, with a lot more games likely to be added on local TV.

The rest of the schedule

The NBA did not disclose when the rest of the NBA schedule will come out, but it’s been released between Aug. 11-14 each of the last four years, so early next week would seem like a good bet. The full television schedule is expected out Friday, too, so it’s possible it all comes down this week instead. I would assume, by the way, that the Raptors will open the season on Oct. 17 based on these schedules, likely at home.

A note on Delon Wright

With the NBA season officially beginning Oct. 16, that means Delon Wright and the Raptors have until Oct. 15 to work out an extension of his rookie-scale contract. If the sides don’t come to an agreement by then, Wright will be set for restricted free agency in the summer of 2019.

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