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Raptors Set New Franchise-High for Wins, But Playoffs Ultimate Test

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The Toronto Raptors set a new record for franchise wins in a season thanks to last night's victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, but best season ever for the club? Adam Francis thinks the jury's still out.

Thanks to last night's exhibition game against the Milwaukee Bucks, a new mark has been set.

In their 110 to 100 win over the visiting Bucks, the Toronto Raptors hit 48 wins, a new high for the franchise, and with one more game left on the schedule tomorrow night in New York, a chance to do it one better.

This, and a number of other "best" marks on the season has many pondering if this is not the best team in Raptors' history.

Especially since last night's Atlantic Division banner hanging evokes many a memory of the Chris Bosh-led 2006-07 squad that also captured a division title.


The National Post's Eric Koreen penned some thoughts on the topic, as did our own Scott Campsall, for Sportsnet.ca. In his Sportsnet piece, Campsall compares not the Bosh-led group though, but the vintage Vince Carter 47 win team with this year's squad and at the time of its penning, statistically, you'd have to say the 2013-14 team comes out on top.

I'm going to argue however that it's too early to tell.

The Carter squad not only made the NBA playoffs, but defeated a tough Knicks' club in their second kick at said can, so let's hold off on "Best Ever" titles until we see how this group performs.

As of this morning, the Raptors would be taking on the Washington Wizards, who kept themselves in sixth place in the East thanks to a nice win last night over the Miami Heat. The Charlotte Bobcats won as well thanks to a Chris Douglas-Roberts Hail Mary at the buzzer, so they stay a game back.

And the Chicago Bulls won as well yesterday evening so really, the final playoff picture likely won't be decided until around 9:30 EST tomorrow night.

Regardless of their opponent though, in my books, for this team to snatch the "Greatest Team In Raptors' History" title, they need to get through the first round of the playoffs and put up a good showing in round two. Remember, Carter's 2000-01 squad was a missed jumper away from heading to the Eastern Conference Finals, and considering their opponent (ironically the Milwaukee Bucks), likely would have made the NBA Finals.

So I'll hold off on the list-making for now, especially considering the fact that the club is still not doing a great job defensively. Last night versus the Bucks we saw some of the same issues in terms of both getting stops, and securing rebounds (the Bucks outrebounded the Dinos 46 - 32) but considering the atmosphere of the match -which RaptorsRepublic nailed by describing it as a pick-up game- we'll keep the jury out until the playoffs begin.

Because again, that's now really what this season is all about.

48 or 49 wins is great, but if the team gets swept in the first round, doesn't the narrative suddenly change and one of the best seasons in franchise history become the most disappointing?