The Toronto Raptors and early start times in the NBA playoffs are like oil and water - they don't mix under any circumstances.
Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Raptors and Miami Heat goes down on Sunday at the Air Canada Centre with tip-off set for 3:30 p.m. ET.
If history is any indication, the Atlantic Division champions and their "We The North" movement could be in for a world of hurt with their season on the line.
Dating back to the franchise's first postseason berth during the 1999-00 campaign, the Raptors have lost all 13 of their playoff games which tip-off prior to 4 p.m.
Toronto Raptors' Playoff History (Early Games)
|Date||Start Time||Opposition||Final Score|
|4/23/2000||12:30 p.m.||New York Knicks||92-88|
|4/30/2000||12:30 p.m.||New York Knicks||87-80|
|4/22/2001||12:30 p.m.||New York Knicks||92-85|
|4/29/2001||12:30 p.m.||New York Knicks||97-89|
|5/13/2001||3:00 p.m.||Philadelphia 76ers||84-79|
|4/21/2007||12:30 p.m.||New Jersey Nets||96-91|
|4/20/2008||12:30 p.m.||Orlando Magic||114-100|
|4/26/2008||3:00 p.m.||Orlando Magic||106-94|
|4/19/2014||12:30 p.m.||Brooklyn Nets||94-87|
|5/4/2014||1:00 p.m.||Brooklyn Nets||104-103|
|4/18/2015||12:30 p.m.||Washington Wizards||93-86|
|4/16/2016||12:30 p.m.||Indiana Pacers||100-90|
|4/23/2016||3:00 p.m.||Indiana Pacers||100-83|
There is reason for Raptors fans to be optimistic, though.
The team hasn't lost consecutive games since they fell to the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets on March 23 and 25, respectively. Toronto is also a perfect 5-0 this postseason when coming off a loss.
- with h/t to TSN's Josh Lewenberg