Terrence Ross wowed the crowd, continued to show off his silky smooth game and ultimately helped the Raptors earn their first Summer League victory.
Here are some quick thoughts on the game:
- Terrence Ross’ first summer league game might have been an eye opener for non believers, but make no mistake, Wednesday’s contest against the Kings was his best performance yet. He did commit seven fouls, and on the surface, you might see Ross’ underwhelming shooting percentage (7-for17 in this game, 24-for-62 overall) and ignore what he’s actually been doing on the court. But as I’ve been saying, I’m not so much concerned with stats and percentages from rookies at Summer League as much as I’m concerned with seeing skills and abilities that will translate at the NBA level. And from that perspective, what Ross has shown us through four games in Vegas is certainly encouraging.
The form on his jump-shot is already a thing of beauty. His movement off of the ball shows he has a good grasp of where to be on the court to put himself in good positions to score, and that in itself is already more than you can say for a lot of rookies. He gets after it on defence, gets his hands in passing lanes and always seems to be at least around the rim for a rebounding opportunity when a shot goes up. You’ll notice that none of these things I listed are dependent on a lower level of competition because it’s “just Summer League.” They’re all fundamental basketball traits that players either possess or don’t possess, and they will translate.
Throwing down jams like this helps too, though.
- Ed Davis had by far his worst game of Summer League so far, posting 10 points on 2-of-9 shooting to go along with nine rebounds, four fouls and a couple of turnovers. If there’s one thing Davis can take from this game, he did knock down six of seven free throws.
- Ben Uzoh dishing out six assists and only taking two shots in 20 minutes is respectable compared to the ball hogging some other summer league point guards partake in, but it’s pretty clear that Bobby Brown has pulled ahead of him on the Raptors’ Vegas depth chart. Brown had another impressive showing against the Kings, scoring 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting while adding six assists and five rebounds in just under 20 minutes of floor time. Though realistically, both point guards are probably playing for jobs elsewhere now that the Raptors are reportedly closing in on John Lucas III.
- Jimmer Fredette has looked pretty good for the Kings this week, while little known Cal State Fullerton guard Josh Akognon has filled the bucket nicely, but the guy I was most interested in watching for Sacramento was Thomas Robinson. The fifth overall pick wasn’t much of a factor against the Raptors (Seven points, 3-of-13 shooting, eight rebounds) and has averaged about 12 points, eight rebounds and over eight free throw attempts through four Summer League games. He hasn’t been as good as I expected him to be against Vegas talent, but you know the work ethic is there, and he seems to be a better passer than I thought he was. It’s interesting to see how many people seem divided on Robinson. Some seem to think his college numbers overrated his actual NBA value, while others point to Kevin Love as evidence that big men with incredible motors eventually find a way. I’d say at worst, Robinson will be a solid rotation guy.
- Fresh off of their official introduction to Toronto, Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields were in attendance for this game and each joined the NBA TV commentary. Lowry talked about how excited he is to play with some of the Raptors’ young talent, while Fields talked some Jonas Valanciunas and described how he’s “already in love with the city.” Meanwhile, second round pick Quincy Acy missed his second straight game with a back contusion.
- The Raptors conclude their five game Summer League schedule on Thursday afternoon against the Knicks. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to catch that game or recap it, but I am sure we’ll have some more RaptorBlog content for you at some point this week.