It's hard to believe that it has been four months since the last Toronto Raptors game, but our boys are finally returning to the court. The team's first scrimmage match against the Houston Rockets has been set for Friday, July 24. Judging by their latest practice photos, they don't plan on losing.
The Raptors are one of several NBA teams currently residing at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. However, they won't have much time to enjoy the magic kingdom as they prepare for three scrimmages, followed by eight seeding games.
According to the NBA, Toronto will also face off against Portland on Sunday and the Suns on Tuesday.
The Raptors' match this Friday is a pre-season game. The NBA season doesn't officially restart until July 30th.
Toronto's first official game will be against the Lakers on August 1st at 8:30 p.m.
The champs will have to shake off the last few months of quarantine to pick up where they left off before the suspension.
However, the daunting task doesn't seem to phase the Raptors too much. The team offered fans a glimpse into their training Wednesday, and their message is clear --- we're back, baby!
Everyone from Marc Gasol to Kyle Lowry can be seen grinding in the shots, which is sure to bring a tear to the eye of any Raptors die-hard.
It's tough to see the Raptors make their glorious return outside of the 6ix. However, as hard as it is for fans to accept that their season tickets are now defunct, its even tougher on the players and their families.
Raptors HQ reports that the team won't be able to see their families for three months due to the NBA's strict isolation bubble rules.
Fred VanVleet recently opened up about his struggles to adjust to life without his family.
"I don't know if they're going to make the trip to come to visit when they allow families, but who knows," said VanVleet.
"It was a part of it, and it was tough, and I take a lot of pride in being a father, and family is probably the most important thing to me, so that was definitely a tough decision to make. Thank God for Facetime."
As hard as it may be, the chance to defend their championship title is clearly worth it.