No bold predictions, no promises of reaching the playoffs. There is instead a quiet sense of optimism around the Toronto Raptors heading into the season.
A year after general manager Bryan Colangelo preached patience with a young, building team that was all about gaining experience, the Raptors made several key moves in the offseason in hopes of significantly improving the team.
Colangelo added three potential starters to the roster in point guard Kyle Lowry, Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas and athletic swingman Landry Fields, while losing Jerryd Bayless and James Johnson.
''There's that feeling there could be something special about this group, but time will tell,'' Colangelo said.
The Raptors, who open the season at home Wednesday against Indiana, finished 23-43 last year in a lockout-shortened season with low expectations. Few expect them to improve all that much this year - something second-year coach Dwane Casey said may work in his young squad's favor.
''With that lac...