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Toronto Raptors' Jose Calderon controls the ball as Washington Wizards' Shelvin Mack during the first half of their NBA game in Washington.


If you are the Toronto Raptors you just can't win for losing when it comes to the wackiness of the National Basketball Association schedule this season.

All NBA teams have been forced to toe the line this year with a condensed 66-game schedule made necessary by the lockout that wiped out the first two months of the season.

For the Raptors, the schedule has been especially arduous and it was even something that general manager Bryan Colangelo brought to the attention of the league in a failed attempt to have the scheduled rearranged.

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"Bryan tried to change it and as you could see with no avail," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said Wednesday morning.

The Raptors will take on the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday night at the Air Canada Centre, the start of a franchise record-tying seven-game home stand for Toronto.

Nothing wrong with that for the road weary Raptors, who have been required to play 17 of their first 26 games away from Toronto so far this season.

After that Toronto will play the Boston Celtics on Friday and then the L.A. Lakers on Sunday before taking on the New York Knicks on Feb. 14, the San Antonio Spurs on Feb. 15 and then the Charlotte Bobcats on Feb. 17.

Then Toronto will enjoy a four-day break before playing the final game of the home stand against the Detroit Pistons on Feb. 22.

It will afford Casey the luxury of being able to stage practices at home on consecutive days. And if there's anything this 8-18 inconsistent outfit needs it's lots of practice.

It is after the Detroit game that the scheduling turns strange from the Raptors perspective.

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The game against the Pistons is Toronto's final contest before the all-star game that will be played Feb. 26 in Orlando.

Toronto won't play again until Feb. 28 in Houston Rockets which is almost a week off for the players -- an interminable break that the team tried unsuccessfully to have altered.

Casey said Colangelo was on a conference call with the league to try to get the schedule shifted a bit, but to no avail.

"Everybody's got their own issues," Casey said.

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