Terrence Ross' talents are being horribly wasted right now.
Ross dominated the 2013 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, but he is far from a complete player on the court. The young man needs to get a handle on the nuances of playing the wing in the NBA to truly take advantage of his athletic prowess.
The Toronto Raptors' rookie shooting guard is averaging less than 17 minutes of playing time per game. His production while on the court is less than exemplary, as the No. 8 pick of the draft is averaging just 13.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists per 36 minutes.
Even more alarming is the fact that Ross has earned just 0.20 free-throw attempts per field-goal attempt (h/t ESPN's John Hollinger; Insider protected). That's the worst mark of any rookie in his draft class, which is unacceptable for a player with his athletic prowess.
Ross doesn't possess natural ball-handling skills, which limits his ability to effectively get to the rim. This is a travesty, considering the ease with which he elevates and finishes around the hoop.
Ross must make ball-handling drills his best friend until he can create in the lane with authority and skill. A player with his leaping ability should not be wasted, yet to this point in his young career that's exactly what's happening.
Will Ross ever develop into a star shooting guard, or is he just a one-trick pony?
The NBA is full of exceptional athletes. And while it's fun to watch players like Ross pull out all the stops to win a dunk competition, it's equally frustrating to see him struggle to make plays when it actually counts.
If Ross is ever to become a complete player, he needs to be able to do more than win dunk contests. He needs to get stronger, refine his game and learn how to attack the hole. His ability to hit the outside shot is a plus, but he must get better as an all-around player.
Otherwise, he'll never be anything more than a footnote as a former slam-dunk champ.
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