Terrence Ross pulled out a bit of a Melo impression last night against the Clippers. Prior to last night, he was just a second-round pick who won the Dunk Contest as a rook, the young player expected to slowly develop and who had only made the starting lineup following the Raps trading Rudy Gay.
Today, he’s the second player in Raps history to score 50 points or more, joining fellow dunk master Vince Carter. He made these 51 points on 16 of 29 shooting taking over the Raptors offence when DeRozan and Lowry went out with injury and went cold respectively. He had 7 3-pointers in the first half, a franchise record and went 10 of 17 from beyond the arc in total. He’s the first player in NBA history to average less than 10 points a game and then explode for 51. He joins a group of nine other players to hit 51 points or more at 22 years old or younger. And he showed off his dunking prowess on more than one occasion.
Unfortunately, it was enough for the Raps as Blake and Jamal Crawford both went off, scoring 30 points and 37 points and 11 assists respectively. Toronto however should be excited at the prospect of developing such a young talented player.
Other factoids from the day:
- In a year where everytime young coaches running shitty teams get a win leads to calling them “Coach of the Year”, there is one name who needs to be in consistent, legitimate contention. Tom Thibodeau. Without his superstar D-Rose or his workhorse Lieutenant Deng, Thibs is still turning water into wins. Ever since Deng left, Chicago’s defence has gotten stingier unbelievably. Joakim Noah has taken on the role of alpha male with relish and was two assists off a triple-double against the Bobcats. D.J. Augustin looks like an NBA-caliber point guard, Boozer isn’t just coasting and they’ve gone 7-3 in the last 10 games.
- Memphis totally has Houston’s number. Don’t be fooled by the other day and Chandler Parsons’ 3-point heroics, the Grizzlies are all over this team. They held the Rockets to 37% from the floor and 28% from beyond the arc. Marc Gasol’s return, the improved bench with the growth of James Johnson and acquisition of Courtney Lee and sustained excellence of Conley and Randolph mean that this team could potentially muscle in on a playoff position.
- When you’re sagging and feeling in need of a pick-me-up, go to Milwaukee. The Hawks were missing Jeff Teague, Al Horford and Pero Antic and still won by 25 points. Milwaukee is legit about tanking or just has awful, horrible players (Larry Sanders) and now sits at 8-35, easily worst in the league.
- Washington has had 10 opportunities to get back to above .500 since 2009 and has fumbled each one of them. This season, they are proving their consistency I suppose. Tonight on the 10th try, the Jazz snuck out with a win. It must hurt to be beaten by a team that’s willing continue to start Richard Jefferson.
- The Pacers may have the best record in the NBA, but when you look at how they do in back-to-back games, their record is nowhere near as stellar. It dropped to 6-6 of a loss to the Nuggets that could’ve been a blowout if Denver had made its free throws. The Pacers need to make sure they can start to close every single game, regardless of back to backs.
- KD is the real deal. 32 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 steals on 12-17 shooting. His second triple-double of the season and only the fifth of his career. Fear the Slim Reaper.
- This Portland team is looking more and more legit everyday. Last night against the T-Wolves, they equalled their 2012-13 win record… with 38 games left to play. A big problem for Portland last year was the weak bench that could not carry this team when injuries occurred to their starting five. Tonight should’ve calmed the fears about this team, as their bench stepped up led by Mo Williams, C.J. McCollum and Thomas Robinson - all new members of the Portland pine.