With the Toronto Raptors playing in sunny Tampa Bay, Florida for the entirety of the 2020-21 NBA season, fans are delighted to hear that the team will be returning to Canada to play their home games at Scotiabank Arena this season. This means that there will definitely be some entertaining, emotional, and celebratory games that every Raptors fan should have marked off on their calendars this year.
To open up their 2021-22 NBA campaign, the Toronto Raptors will be hosting the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, October 20th at Scotiabank Arena. Although this might not be the most exciting matchup, the Wizards still have one of the best scorers in the NBA in Bradley Beal and a strong, young core that consists of Deni Advija, Thomas Bryant, and Kyle Kuzma. Nonetheless, it will be great to see our Toronto Raptors finally play in front of a home crowd for the first time in over a year. No matter the capacity, it is sure to be a lively and exciting environment, and in general, the season/home opener is always a game that every Raptor fan should have marked off on their calendar.
On October 29th, the Toronto Raptors are slated to play the Orlando Magic, which means that we will hopefully be seeing a Scottie Barnes and Jalen Suggs showdown. On NBA Draft night this year, the Raptors were widely expected to select Suggs with the fourth pick in the Draft, but instead, decided to select the man out of Florida State in Scottie Barnes. Barnes and Suggs will both be looking to show out against each other, and in general, this is a must-watch game if you are Raptors fan.
Then, on November 1st, the Toronto Raptors will be playing the New York Knicks in a special “NBA 75th Anniversary Game”. This game will commemorate the NBA’s 75th anniversary when the Toronto Huskies and Knicks played on November 1st back in 1946. This should be an entertaining matchup between the two Atlantic Division rivals who are looking to establish themselves in a stacked division that also includes the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, and Boston Celtics.
Just less than a week later, on the 7th of November, the Toronto Raptors will be hosting the Brooklyn Nets at Scotiabank Arena. This upcoming NBA season, the Brooklyn Nets will arguably be the best team in the NBA, with Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving leading the front. This matchup will be an extremely interesting and entertaining affair with the offensive firepower of the Brooklyn Nets and the stellar defensive prowess of the Toronto Raptors.
Moving into December, the Toronto Raptors are slated to play the defending NBA Champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, on the 2nd of the month. Similar to the previous matchup mentioned, this game should be full of firepower. It will be especially interesting to see how Scottie Barnes and the young core of the Toronto Raptors stack up against Giannis Antetokounmpo and company.
Then, on December 28th, Danny Green is returning to Toronto to receive his championship ring from when the Toronto Raptors won the NBA championship back in June of 2019. It seems hard to believe, but after the NBA bubble and a long season in Florida, this marks the first time that Danny Green will be returning to Scotiabank Arena since he won his ring with Toronto. Even though his tenure in Toronto was short-lived, Green was a pivotal player in the 2019 championship run, and will be the recipient of a warm welcome and standing ovation.
Only a couple of days later, on December 31st, the Toronto Raptors play the Los Angeles Clippers, and this means the return of Serge Ibaka. Serge was an amazing player for his entire tenure in Toronto and was definitely a fan favourite. He was a key player in the 2019 championship run, and will rightfully receive a standing ovation from the home crowd in Toronto.
Moving into 2022, on the 9th of January, the Toronto Raptors will play the New Orleans Pelicans. This means that Jonas Valanciunas will finally make his return to Toronto after being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies back in 2019. It is hard to believe that JV hasn’t played a game in Toronto since he was traded, but with a long wait comes great anticipation, and this will definitely be an emotional and exciting game, for both Valanciunas, and Raptors fans alike.
On January 23rd, 2022, when the Toronto Raptors play against the Portland Trail Blazers, Norman Powell returns to Scotiabank Arena for the first time since he was traded to the Trail Blazers last season. Norman Powell is and has always been a fan favourite in Toronto and is sure to receive a standing ovation from the Raptor faithful inside Scotiabank Arena. Not to mention, Portland also has a lot of firepower on their team including Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, which should help set up a very enticing matchup between the two exciting teams.
Arguably one of the most exciting and emotional games of the season will be when Kyle Lowry returns to Toronto on February 3rd when the Miami Heat visit the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena. For Lowry himself, and all Raptors fans alike, this will be a very emotional game. The inevitable tribute video should bring tears to Raptors fans, players, coaches, and also, Kyle Lowry himself. There is no debate that Kyle Lowry is the GROAT (Greatest Raptor Of All Time), and it will be a weird sight to watch him play for the opposing team at Scotiabank Arena. Although we will always be cheering for Kyle and wish him the best of success moving forward, this is one of the occasions where we will have to root against Kyle and his new team.
On March 18th, 2022, the Toronto Raptors play the Los Angeles Lakers, and LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook will be coming to town. Similar to the game against the Brooklyn Nets, this should be an entertaining showdown, with the Raptors taking on yet another superteam that will be contending for a championship this upcoming NBA season. This is definitely a game that every Raptor fan should be looking to get a ticket for, especially if Scotiabank Arena is at full capacity.
A couple of honourable mentions include the following games:
On November 5th, 2021, the Toronto Raptors play the Cleveland Cavaliers. This specific game should contain an entertaining rookie matchup between the third and fourth picks in this year’s NBA Draft; Evan Mobley and Scottie Barnes.
On November 13th, 2021 the Toronto Raptors are slated to play the Detroit Pistons. The number one draft pick from this year’s draft class, Cade Cunningham, will be coming to town to take on the Toronto Raptors.
On February 10th, 2022, the Toronto Raptors will take on the Houston Rockets, which means, they will get their first look at the 2nd pick in this year’s draft, Jalen Green. Green is an extremely talented offensive player, and it will be very interesting to see how he and Scottie Barnes match up against each other.
Finally, the Toronto Raptors will end their season on April 10th, 2022, when they take on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Although the importance and implications of this game are not evident as of yet, it should be an entertaining matchup nonetheless.