In the Bonus: Raptors' Ross much more than a dunker

In the Bonus: Raptors' Ross much more than a dunker
March 28, 2014, 4:15 pm
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Toronto's Terrence Ross first came on the scene as an above-the-rim, athletic freak which he parlayed into being a Slam Dunk champion in 2013.

But there's only so much mileage a player in this league can get off of having that be his claim to fame.

There's no better example of this than former Celtic Gerald Green who bounced around the NBA and overseas basketball before settling in with his current team, the Phoenix Suns.

Ross clearly doesn't want a similar fall-out for himself.

And while he is far from an established player in the NBA, the second-year small forward is certainly trending in the right direction.

Ross' 51-point performance against the Los Angeles Clippers in January showcased his ability to score in bunches.

Clippers coach and former Celtics head coach Doc Rivers was not surprised to see Ross have a big game.

"That's what he does," Rivers told reporters after the game which was won by the Clippers. "You think he's a dunker, he's really a shooter."

At the time, Ross was averaging just 9.3 points which made him the first player in NBA history to score 50 or more points in a game and not be a double-digit scorer when he did it.

He continued to score well and went into the All-Star break averaging a respectable 10.2 points per game. Since coming back, he's up to 12.7 which has been a factor in Toronto's 12-7 record since the break which is the eighth-best record since the break.

Ross is making things happen all over the floor, something the Celtics know all too well after Ross lit them up for 24 points in Toronto's 99-90 win over Boston at the TD Garden on Wednesday.

Although Jeff Green had a neck injury which to some extent played a role in his sub-par performance (six points, 3-for-9 shooting), Ross is starting to show the potential be a lock-down guy.

In January, he had to defend Indiana All-Star Paul George and in the two meetings, George scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.

But what's really starting to make him shine is his shooting.

On 3s, he's up to 42.3 percent shooting compared to 39.9 prior to the all-star break. There's a similar spike in his mid-range numbers (38.2 post all-star break, 33.3 percent prior) and his scoring in the paint (60.9 post all-star break, 50.4 prior) as well.