In a season where there was optimism and hope (something Raptor fans have not heard in a while), people thought this would be the year where they, after a long absence, be making a return into the NBA postseason. Except the Raptors looked like the Raptors, players got hurt, others just sucked *cough Bargs cough*, and management was questioned. Instead of finishing with a positive record, and finishing in the top 8 in the weak Eastern Conference, they ended the season with a 34 and 48 record, and 10th in East. With John Hollinger predicting a 33 win season for this club, and getting bashed for it, it was a slap in the face for some fans that this team just was not as good as people thought pre-season.
Now, did we say they could win the division. No, but least have more than 30 plus wins, and finish better than the Bucks. There were some positives this season as rookies like Jonas Valanciunas, and Terrence Ross showed some promise for the future as they took the ball they had and ran with it. I will be focusing on what Terrence Ross brought, and what I think I will see from him moving forward.
Terrence Ross's first year with the Raptors showed a bright light in a dark season. With his athletic skill andyouth he impressed many Raptor fans and writers, as he looked like he deserved strong bench minutes, and maybe some starting minutes, (given any injuries to Gay) while averaging 6.4 points per game, good for 16th in rookie scoring. He also impressed the bigger NBA family and media when he won a pretty lackluster 2013 Slam Dunk Contest with a Vince Carter tribute that put a smile on both the crowd and the TNT crew.
He has shown he can dunk with some of the best in the league. It his jumper, and his long range game that I hope can improve. I make the comparison of T-ross to Demar in a sense that they have the quickness,athleticism, and the want to play good, but it is their decision making and shooting that brings their game, and the team, behind in games.
Having these issues with such similar players makes it hard to play them both at the same time during games. Seeing as they both bring the same type of game and style. So it makes it hard to be diverse and creative with the offense. I do hope Ross does improve on his mid-range to long range game, but seeing as Demar is the one who will take a lot of jumpers, and having Gay out there taking shots, it will be good to see a pure driver and finisher like Ross who can get his shots from the free throw line.
With the future of both Colangelo and Casey in the air, who knows if Ross will be here long term. But I sure hope so. Andrea Bargani does not look like he will be a big part of the Raptors future, that is if they can move him, and JV hopefully filling that role of center, Ross could be a big part of a hopefully improved bench squad for the Dinos. His defence will hopefully improve, and with the veteran Gay he could learn from him in terms of maturity.
Still a long ways away from the season, but hopefully with some improvements during the summer. Terrence Ross can develop into a promising player, and can form a decent duo with DeRozan if Gay is hurt. On a season filled with suck, having two young stars like the aforementioned Ross, and JV can bring some fun and smiles into this team. After such a down year, and with the saga with Bargs. It will be important for these young guys to take advantage of their minutes, and show everyone what they got.