Last season, the Toronto Raptors hosted the New Orleans Pelicans on opening night and, in front of a sold-out Scotiabank Arena crowd, they raised a champion banner and captured a 130-122 overtime victory.

This season, they will once again host the Pelicans on opening night, nevertheless both the place and scenarios will be different.

Catch the Toronto Raptors season tip-off as they host the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday at 7pm et/4pm pt. on TSN1, TSN4 and TSN Direct.

Due to the continuous border constraints associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Raptors have actually transferred to a momentary house at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, house of the Stanley Cup champ Tampa Bay Lightning.

Rather of giving out rings, they will be attempting to recover the Larry O’Brien Trophy and their spot as NBA champs.

Despite losing their best gamer Kawhi Leonard to free firm prior to last season, the Raptors published a 53-19 record, good enough for second in the Eastern Conference, over a routine season that was interrupted by the pandemic and finished in a bubble at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando.

The protecting champs advanced to the 2nd round of the playoffs, where they were gotten rid of in seven video games by the Boston Celtics and head coach Nick Nurse was rewarded by being called the NBA’s Coach of the Year.

The off-season that followed saw two significant departures from the team that completed behind just the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA’s general standings, both of which came at the centre position.

Marc Gasol signed as a free representative with the NBA champ Los Angeles Lakers and Serge Ibaka joined the previously departed Leonard with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Team president Masai Ujiri and basic manager Bobby Webster went to work securing the future of the team. A year after securing Pascal Siakam to a four-year extension, the Raptors signed point player Fred VanVleet and forward OG Anunoby to their own four-year deals.

To fill the holes left by the left big males, the Raptors kept Canadian Chris Boucher and included Aron Baynes and Alex Len.

Six-time All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry continues to be the leader of the group after publishing 19.4 points a game last season, a three-year high for him in scoring.

Siakam was named to the 2019-20 All-NBA junior varsity after contributing 22.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, all profession highs.

To make a second straight opening night success over the Pelicans, the Raptors will need to defeat Zion Williamson, who missed the start of his novice season last year due to knee surgery.

The 20-year-old stood for the Pelicans 24 times last season and posted 22.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 helps per video game.

New Orleans ended up with a 30-42 record and missed out on the playoffs last season, which eventually cost Alvin Gentry his job.

The group is now being led by Stan Van Gundy and has likewise added point player Eric Bledsoe and forward Steven Adams to their ranks.

The Raptors and Pelicans fulfilled twice last season, with Toronto likewise capturing the 2nd video game 122-104 in New Orleans.