This just in from the ESPN Summer Forecast: the Raptors are bound to finish third in the Eastern Conference for the coming season. Their projected win total? 47.
There is a slight wrinkle to the ranking that I should mention: the Raptors are actually tied with the Washington Wizards - who finished sixth last season - and are just hanging on to the third spot by the thinnest of decimal point margins (thanks chart footnote!)
With the Eastern Conference looking less like a two-team race this year and more like an all-out brawl (depending on how much stock you put in the Nets, Heat and Pacers' ability to compete, to say nothing of the Charlotte Hornets), the Raptors may not have it as easy as we'd hoped. Good thing the Atlantic Division is still largely in shambles.
So, will it be easy for the Raps to smash the 50 win barrier or will the increased competition in the conference have them bumping up against the 48 win ceiling again?