Terrence Ross was recently put in Toronto’s starting unit after Rudy Gay was traded to Sacramento and he responded tonight by scoring 24 points in 33 minutes while going 10-16 from the field.
The scoring burst represent the second highest scoring output of his NBA career and he has provided glimpses over the past week of being a player that can start on a consistent basis in the league.
While the scoring burst was a big reason why Toronto escaped with a win, his head coach, Dwane Casey, was hesitant to lock him into a role as a starter moving forward.
“He’s got to keep it going,” Casey told a reporter after the game. “We’ve got a lot of people (that can start for us). John Salmons is a veteran guy. We’ve still got Landry (Fields) in there.
“Ross played well tonight but now he has to continue it. That’s his biggest challenge as a young player in this league is to stay hungry, to stay driven and to stay consistent. I just told him a few minutes ago that he’s got the Bulls tomorrow night.”
Instead of hanging his head after hearing what his coach said or puffing up his chest after a big game, to his credit, Ross was quick to embrace the fact he needs to focus more on the court and be consistent.
When he was asked about his confidence, Ross was quick to point out he needs to work on his focus during games.
“My confidence is good, but the main thing is keeping my focus so I can play at this level,” Ross admitted to me. “I’m just trying to know my job, know my role and make sure we have the chemistry going on the court.”
It looks like the starting spot is Ross’ for the time being, but it’s far from secure. If he goes into a funk where he stops playing hard at both ends or shows stretches where he isn’t focused, look for Salmons or Fields to sneak in the starting line-up.