Scientists the world over agree that global warming is a problem that threatens humanity. Oil-burning industry, agriculture, gas-guzzling Escalades - these all create excess carbon dioxide, and are established culprits to global warming.
In the 2014-15 NBA season, global warming had a new culprit: the exasperated sighs of Toronto Raptors fans watching Terrence Ross.
To say that Ross was the most frustrating player on the Raptors roster this year would be an understatement. Yes, we can nitpick at Jonas Valanciunas, critique the shot selection of DeMar DeRozan, get frustrated at the demeanor of Kyle Lowry. But in hindsight, it seemed like every game gave us a new boneheaded play from Ross. Whether it be getting backcut into oblivion by Mike Dunleavy, jumping at a Paul Pierce pump fake, or taking yet another contested three from distances only reserved for Steph Curry - Ross gave us plenty of reason to sigh at our television sets this year.
Chris Walder wrote a great piece here about Terrence Ross' potential, which somehow still hangs out there in the mist. We're driving through it, waiting to see it, but the flashes are disappearing. The mist gets heavier. After a thoroughly disappointing season, it could very well be time to tighten the leash on Ross, or cut him loose completely.
Let's take a look back at the season that was.
82 games (61 started), 25.5 minutes, 9.8 points, 41.0 FG%, 37.2 3P%, 78.6 FT%, 2.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, 0.8 turnovers
No 51-point games this year, folks. Ross' best game came on December 12 against the New York Knicks. He had 22 points and five rebounds, posted a +16, knocked down three triples, and had a couple great dunks.
He also went to the free throw line three times - one of only five games all season that he had at least three free throw attempts. Sigh.
Based on the eye test, there were a lot of bad games for Ross this season. Statistically, one of the worst was in a December 22 loss to the Chicago Bulls. In 35 minutes, Ross had two turnovers and went 6-for-16, including 5-for-11 from deep (no free throw attempts).
This game was typical of Ross' decision-making against good defenses. Instead of driving the ball, often he just took more contested threes. The Raptors were burned by Chicago all season - part of it was Ross' inability to make anything happen.
Strengths & Weaknesses
+ An effective corner three-point shooter
+ Staying outside creates driving lanes for Lowry and DeRozan
+ Athletic, does cool dunks
- Too small, defensive IQ is extremely low for a touted "3-and-D" guy
- Doesn't use athleticism effectively, really only attacks the rim on breakaway dunks
- Hasn't progressed much since entering the NBA
Role Next Season
Who knows? The Raptors organization has shown endless patience with Terrence Ross and Dwane Casey will likely continue to use him as his starting three, barring a big free agency signing. In an ideal world, he could be an effective bench shooter, either for the Raptors or for another team in a trade. That's his value right now. If he doesn't show marked improvement in 2015-16 beyond that, his NBA career as a starter may be over.
A Gif To Sum It All Up