The Raptors Terrence Ross had a disappointing third NBA season in Toronto. After being called one of his team’s best defensive players in a strong sophomore campaign by his head coach, Ross kind of disappeared the next year. It was only after the fact that everyone learned what had been holding him back.
Terrrence Ross interview:
“Last year during the season probably midway through I always used to roll my ankle at practice, I used to roll my ankle during games (and) I would always play through it,” Ross told Pro Bball Report. “At the end of the season they just wanted me to get x-rays and I had three or four bone spurs that I had to get out, so they said that would probably be a good idea.”
Ross came back from surgery very quickly and was seen working out at the Air Canada Centre during the team’s pre-draft workouts in June. It was a minor procedure that didn’t really hold Ross back from training during the summer.
“I felt good,” Ross said. “They just wanted to take it slow so I didn’t hurt myself. For the most part I was back fine.”
In part because of his ankle problems, Ross was reduced to a three-point shooter for much of last year and he was good at it, taking almost five per game and hitting on 37.2 percent of them, but this year he needs to do more. As a second unit guy he needs to make more of an impact more quickly and in a greater number of ways.
“I think kind of what Lou (Williams) did last year for the second squad,” Ross said. “For me, more of a coming off down screens and spotting up, always on the move and taking the three that’s something they want me to do this year.
“(Go) inside and be a little more versatile and switch everything up, a couple more moves to get separation for shots. A lot of running on the down screen. I just run all over the court and get into condition to do it during the season.”
Head Coach Dwane Casey expects Ross to get back on track and, not surprisingly, is looking for Ross to up his defensively game almost immediately. Plus a team can never have enough shooting.
“(Ross) can guard guys at his position,” Casey insisted. “Offensively we can take advantage of a lot of his strengths. We are not going to have a guy coming in doing isos and one-on-ones and stuff like that, but he can space the floor with the second unit. Definitely there are going to be situations he is going to be in where we do go small. Terrence is an excellent piece for both units in certain situations defensively and definitely certain situations stretching the floor.”
One of the things that will help Ross this season is the addition of some solid veterans he can learn from. DeMarre Carroll is taking Ross’ spot in the starting lineup, but Carroll is a player that had to work hard in order to get into this position and Ross can learn a lot from him. Scola is another veteran who has built his reputation on hard work and doing things the right way. Ross has some great examples to look to.
“It’s nice, a lot of guys that have been to the playoffs, been to the finals, won championships, there is a lot of experience on the team now,” Ross explained. “(Scola’s) I.Q., his knowledge of the game, his experience, it rubs off on everybody and helps everybody kind of mature faster. It helps everybody up their game that much more.”
In many ways Ross sounds a lot like he did at the start of last season, optimistic and upbeat. However, he is in a better situation, has more support and will not be under as much pressure to perform. Ross should have a strong year. He should be bringing a lot more to the Raptors than what might be reasonably expected from last season.