Raptors' fast start may be good omen

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:34 AM ET

BOSTON -- If recent history is any indication, the Raptors' eye-opening 7-0 pre-season record might be a sign of good things to come.

A gaze at the NBA exhibition standings the past two years shows that the successful teams, for the most part, go on to have winning seasons.

Last season, the Denver Nuggets had the best pre-season in the NBA and went on to win the Northwest Division with a record of 44-38.

The previous season, the Phoenix Suns led the way with a 7-1 exhibition record and then rolled to an NBA-best 62-20 season.

In addition, of the 10 teams to finish the pre-season with at least six wins in either of the past two years, only two of them wound up missing the playoffs -- the 2005-06 Houston Rockets and the 2004-05 Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Raptors, meanwhile, don't plan to celebrate their dominance in pre-season play after the exhibition campaign concludes tonight in Chicago against the Bulls.

"It (the pre-season record) means something right now, but come Nov. 1 (when the Raps open in New Jersey against the Nets) it means nothing," Raptors guard Fred Jones said. "Right now, we can build on that and be happy we're doing well. But those games don't count in the regular season, so once that starts it's out the window."


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