Throughout the NBA playoffs, where we Raptor fans are left to wallow, Raptors Republic brings you the 100 Words Series. Calling on RR writers and other Raptor scribes from around the internet and MSM, we’ll provide the Republic with 100-word takes on players, coaches, management and announcers. Look for these two or three times a week, continuing today with Terrence Ross. The mission I charged the contributors with was simple: you have 100 words (prose, poetry, song, whatever) to discuss said player.

Andrew Thompson, Raptors Republic
Terrence Ross was drafted for his 3 point shooting. His rookie shooting stats don’t exactly jump off the page at a below league average 33% on 2.7 attempts per game. But let’s not all start throwing things in despair yet.

Player A: 29% 3P%, 2.7 attempts
Player B: 28% 3P%, 2.6 attempts

Those pair of rookie shooting splits belong to Kevin Durant and Lebron James. My point isn’t that Ross will become either of those two players. He almost definitely won’t. But, both of those players shot over 40% from 3 this past season after hurling bricks almost exclusively in their rookie season. Shooters typically take time to adjust to the League. There is still hope for a Raptor who can actually shoot 3s…

Arsenalist, Raptors Republic

In a good system where he’s held accountable defensively and has a specific role coming off the bench (poor man’s Tony Allen), you can see Ross fitting in as a productive member of a roster.  Assuming the shooting percentages improve with maturity and a summer of training, it’s not unreasonable to suggest an improvement like below, even if he plays the same amount of minutes (17 per game – granted, this is likely to increase):

2012-13

2013-14

FG%

.407

.44

3FG%

.332

.370

FTA / Game

0.6

2

Steals

0.6

1

He has good technique on his shot and I really think not enough coaching was done to get him accustomed to the NBA three-point line.  I’m going to assume that that is corrected, and if so, he’s good a nice enough contract to at least stick around in a bench role.  I won’t anoint him a saviour or even put his mug on marketing material, but that doesn’t mean he can’t hold a fiscally responsible roster spot.

Blake Murphy, Raptors Republic
The three-point shot is something learned and perfected over time. Rookies are taking a longer range shot than they’ve been used to and more intelligent defenses, usually. Defense is also something that is a learned skill, as the jump to the NBA includes a dramatic jump in skill, strength and savvy on the part of opponents. T-Ross has time to grow into the three-and-D kind of prospect we were hoping for, and he showed flashes, especially in fast-paced play, during the season. But he might have to show it from deep on the bench to start, since Ujiri can’t assume that growth.

Garrett Hinchey, Raptors Republic
Ah, what to do with you, Terrence Ross AKA TDotFlight31 AKA the weirdest Twitter handle to become a person’s actual nickname. On paper, you’re the perfect fit for this group of players: a floor-spacing wing, on a rookie deal, who’s known for long-range shooting (just think, a Raptor wing who can hit threes!) and with unparalleled athleticism. It’s all there.

On the court, though, you seem like a different guy. Listless at times, especially on defense, struggling with your shot, and seemingly shutting down after every bad stretch of play you submit. Yes, I know you’re only 20. Yes, I believe that potential filled, floor-spacing guard is still there. But, buddy, it’s time for him to start showing up at every game. Next year, the rookie excuse is gone, and the management group’s completely overhauled. Time to show them what you’ve got.

Tim W., Raptors Republic
In a pre-draft column, I wrote that Ross was the type of guy who always ends up falling in the draft and teams always regret passing on him. My question is whether he would be better off had he dropped to a better team with a staff that could develop him better. While I never thought Ross would ever be an All Star, I think he’s got the ability to be a rotation player on a good team. But I question whether Casey is the coach that can develop him into that.

I just wish Ross had DeRozan’s professionalism and work ethic (although maybe he does. I don’t know).

  • Triano?

    “Yes, I know you’re only 20.” Did you mean 22?

    • Garrett Hinchey

      Yes. Yes I did. Blame my editor.

  • evia99

    not saying that hes gonna be even close to dirk nowitzki, but his rookie numbers were horrible too

    fg%.405 3p% .206 pts 8.2
    rookies take awhile. ross has shown that he has the potential to be a real good player in this league..

  • llaen

    I like how Andrew Thompson writes that Ross “almost definitely” won’t become another Durant or James. “Almost”? Nice!

  • 369

    It will be interesting to see what happens with Tross this off season. If the destination is a championship and our point of origin is an apron/tax team that did make the playoffs in the east – what direction does this car get steered this offseason?

    Tross is an interesting prospect and I am not sure if he will be a sweetener or leave behind as MU attempts to acquire flexibility in re-crafting this roster. What do you guys think?

    • Statement

      I really have no idea about this offseason. I think MU wants to blow it up, but I can’t see how he can, given that we have Rudy Gay.
      Ross can be a productive role player on a good team if he fills out. He’s cheap now so I say that Masai would be keeping him, because of that. Remember, that MU wants youth at the end of the bench to develop.

  • HogyG

    I think you guys got the essence of his rookie season bang on. Well done. I enjoyed seeing his efforts at the defensive end, and his ability to ignite the crowd with his transition dunks and high flying theatrics. He struggled with his consistency at times as Garrett pointed out in his second paragraph (especially in the second half of the season), but like you all mentioned he’s a rookie and should be given the time to grow/develop. I went looking at his NBA.com playerfile to look at some of his numbers on the season and saw that all of his season highs came before mid-January. Do you guys think this just shows where he hit the rookie wall, or may it have been more due to the change in personnel (eg. a loss of a PG with solid court vision and precision passing being able to find the open rookie shooter) thus, making it more a change in his effectiveness that came after the trades?

    To Arsenalist: I was curious if you did any fancy math equation or anything to project the 2013-14 numbers for T Ross, or did you look at the progression of the other players you were looking at to see how they similarly improved, or was it more just a gut feeling sort of a thing?

    To Tim W.: I agree that Casey didn’t really seem to help his progression much this year (but perhaps with George Karl being newly fired and Lionel Hollins on the block, along with all the other potential choices out there we may soon be in for an upgrade at coach. I can dream, can’t I?). I wonder how will T-Ross’ future would be affected by not sliding down the draft board and being a potential sleeper for a playoff contending team. Because he ended up being chosen where he was, he has an additional pressure to perform (something all pro athletes feel, so no big deal. Right?), but all top 10 draft choices are expected of have impact on their respective teams, since to be a top 10 draft choice team means you must have stunk it up a good portion of the year. I feel as though so much in this life is a matter of perspective and all of our perspectives would obviously be different had he gone 16th to 21st rather than the 8th pick. (eg. Would our views or for that matter BC’s view be the same about Bargles if he wasn’t our only #1 draft choice?)

    In hind sight, after seeing his first year, should we have taken the best talent available at the time (arguably Andre Drummond) even if it was a position that at that moment we had ample depth in, instead of the best player remaining in the position we needed? Do you guys think that Ross’ career will be affected because we didn’t allow him to be that sleeper? Allowing him to impress the league from the bottom, something he said he’s done throughout his collegiate career, instead of choosing him on potential and expecting him now to perform.

    Personally, I like the kid, and I look forward to his continued development with the team. I think with a little extra size and endurance he could be a quality bench player next year who adds defensive pressure to the second unit. We all saw things we liked about him, now he needs to choose a couple of those things this off season and make them his first consistent staples of his game for next year. I know we all want the 3 ball to come along as we so desperately need that in today’s game and currently lack it, but I personally want him to work on strength and conditioning first (which in part will help his shot, since his mechanics look good) and perhaps increasing his basketball IQ by working on gaining a better understanding of offensive and defensive schemes in the league, as he looked lost at times out on the floor (though that may have been due to Casey’s ineffective coaching and rotational choices this season).

  • ppellico

    Player A: 29% 3P%, 2.7 attempts
    Player B: 28% 3P%, 2.6 attempts
    well…OK…but JUST to be fair, shouldn’t we list the “other” stats from these former rookie now star players?
    Perhaps, just perhpas… they were also playing some outstanding D and scoreing in many other ways while our own Tross is not. They might have been showing up and doing a bit more than this simple stat would hint.

    • Guest

      No.

      Re-read what you’re criticizing. The argument wasn’t that Ross would become LBJ or Durant, but that 3-point shooting does come with time, so why would he mention outstanding D and the other stuff you want listed? Reading comprehension much?

      • ppellico

        just because these other players were shouldering a shit load more responsibility than Ross…so the pojnt that they shot 3s poorly doesn’t matter.
        Look…I am a BIG Ross fan…he lit my fire several times this season. I hope he does become a really big payer…
        Just was pointing out the odd comparison or meaningless snapshot stat. Some players play some pretty heavy roles beside just O and they are being defended a ton more than Ross…they are the focus of entire defenses in team meetings/game plans…so they are under greater pressure from the get go.

      • ppellico

        and…lots of skill comes with time.
        not just the 3.
        Every player needs to build his talent as they grow in the league. Fade aways…outside jumpers. Big guys need to develop tons and take up to 6 years to become game changers.
        So what. Some great players lose legs and have to totally redesign their shot.
        Hell…what player doesn’t need to continually grow a skill in the NBA?

        • ppellico

          besides…rereading and understanding what I read is a skill I am working on.
          I am one of the sloooooow developing. Seems to be taking a longer time than mom n dad thought.

  • raptorspoo

    One word that comes to mind while watching him play is “timid”.

    Gotta send him to boot camp or something to toughen him up, more than working on his shooting, defense, or anything else. Biggest detriment I see to himself and in his game is up in his head.

    Wish we could take like a Rivers personality and put it in Ross.

  • Copywryter

    I think Garrett has it right. It’s mostly in the eye test. There’s a difference between rookies who flash nba-starter potential amid their many mistakes and guys who can jump out of the building but don’t give you the sense that they are going to justify being a high (outlier) pick. He’s electrifying, sure, but a number of little things are missing and that’s worrying.