If there were any doubts that the Toronto Raptors are gaining a reputation in the NBA as a top team, this should put them to bed. Tonight’s matchup against the Chicago Bulls will be the first Raptors game scheduled in advance to be televised nationally across the United States since February 2002. (As noted by the National Post, they did play a national game in 2013, but only because the Boston Marathon bombing forced the Celtics to take a raincheck.) To give you an idea of how different things were 12 years ago, Vince Carter was the man, Lenny Wilkens was head coach and the franchise nabbed its third-ever playoffs berth. Okay, maybe that last part sounds a little familiar.
Tonight’s game airs on TNT at 8 p.m. EST with the Raptors poised to build on their best season start in team history. As it stands, Toronto has won seven of its first eight games, failing only to best the Miami Heat on their home turf last week.