Toronto, March 11 (IANS) Raptors rookie guard Terrence Ross made his first career National Basketball Association (NBA) start in the team's 100-96 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Ross, the 2013 Slam Dunk champion replaced guard-forward Rudy Gay in the lineup due to a stiff back during Sunday night's encounter here, reports Xinhua. He recorded 14 points, five rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes of action.
"Terrence came out great. It's good, especially for a rookie of that calibre to get that confidence going at the end of the season," said Raptors forward Landry Fields.
Since the acquisition of Gay on January 30, Ross has seen drastic decreases to his playing time. Entering tonight's game, he had played a total of 72 minutes in 10 games, including three games in which he did was active but did not play.
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey believes in Ross and believes the speed of the game is the most important adjustment for a rookie.
"Like most rookies, you make many mistakes but at this time of the year, we got to live with it," said Casey during the post-game press conference.
"The speed of the (NBA) game, everything is so fast for rookies. I don't care who you are, what rookie you are, is a learning experience. That is what they have to learn. They (opponents) don't play nice, they don't play slow."
Casey also believes that patience is essential for the development of young players.
"As a coach, it's my job to make sure that they're coached the right way and brought along the right way," said Casey.
With the team's playoff hopes slipping, Casey will have plenty of opportunities to develop the 198 meter Ross along with rookie teammate Jonas Valanciunas in the remaining 18 games of the season.