After being the butt of numerous and often flaky trade scenarios dreamt up by a frustrated fan base, Raptors young wing Terrence Ross looks have his game back on his more palatable sophomore season track when he helped Toronto return to the postseason after a five year absence. Ross is boss again from the three-point line and the surging Raptors are reaping the rewards.
“(I’m) just playing with confidence,” Ross told Pro Bball Report recently. “Playing my style and just playing hard.”
Over the course of last season and for the first month of this year’s campaign, Ross could be accused of not always looking like a player that was putting out his full effort. Ankle bone spurs last year and an injured thumb this season might have had something to do with that, but no one should have to look for excuses when it comes to effort and since the start of December, the effort has been there on most nights.
“It’s just playing with focus,” Ross explained. “I’m just shooting it. Doing my same routine.”
The change in play happened as sharply as hitting a light switch. After going oh-for shooting three-pointers in his last two games of November and firing a dismal 26.7 percent from deep for the month, Ross hit at least one three in each of his next four games and shot 41.8 percent from three for the month of December.
“I’m just shooting it,” Ross said. “Doing my same routine. I am comfortable with where my shot is at.”
Ross attributes the current improvement in his shot to working with assistant coach Rex Kalamian. Kalamian was hired by the Raptors in June and had previously worked with the Clippers, Kings, Nuggets, 76ers, Thunder and the Timberwolves where he was on Dwane Casey’s staff.
“(Credit to) Rex Kalamian,” Ross said. “Every shot I’ve taken in practice is a game shot, so when I get into the games it’s always one shot. It’s something I’ve been doing (just) this year.”
Ross has been on fire over his past four games, hitting on 13 of 19 three-point attempts and so far January is looking even better than December. Through 11 games this month, Ross is averaging 43.2 percent from three and he’s scored in double-digits in five of his last six games. Now that’s the kind of scoring punch off the bench Raptors head coach Dwane Casey has been looking for.