Kyle Lowry's return to Toronto moved up as Raptors announce schedule changes
The Toronto Raptors are no strangers to the strain that the COVID-19 pandemic can put on daily operations, having up to 10 players in the NBA's health and safety protocols at the same time last week.
With the squad finally back to full strength, the league has made some changes to make up for three postponed games that were scheduled to take place in December, along with some shifts in the calendar for the new year.
Got some schedule updates.
➡️ https://t.co/gEfxbTEH3q pic.twitter.com/lfkcRK8ErX
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 3, 2022
In total, six Raptors games were rescheduled.
The most notable change on the list is the rescheduling of the Raptors’ game against the Miami Heat at Scotiabank Arena to Feb. 1, which will mark Kyle Lowry’s first game back in Toronto since he was traded this past offseason.
While the minor change makes little difference in the grand scheme, some are wondering why the game wasn’t pushed until later in the season, when fans would likely be allowed back at Scotiabank Arena.
So they're moving Lowry's return a little earlier, which makes it even less likely fans will be in attendance, to fit other postponed games in? Coolcoolcool.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) January 3, 2022
Kyle’s night better have fans. That’s not right if it doesn’t … https://t.co/4dXxchO7Q3
— Anthony Khatchadourian ✪ (@Raptorswave) January 3, 2022
If Lowry returns to no fans I will RIOT https://t.co/SIYCUMCkdd
— amber yunes (@ambervaters) January 3, 2022
On Dec. 30, the Ontario Government announced that it is limiting attendance to 1,000 people for indoor sporting events. The Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment group, which owns the Raptors, subsequently announced that they will not be selling tickets to games for the next three weeks.
The Feb. 1 game against the Heat would happen once this period of three weeks is over, but it is too early to predict what safety measures, if any, would carry over for an extended period of time.
More from Yahoo Sports