Ross Ranked Only Behind Three Perennial All-Stars in an Important Offensive Category Last Season

by Josh Cohen

LAS VEGAS - Becoming the first player in NBA history to make at least 200 3-pointers in a season without starting in a single game was an extraordinary feat for Terrence Ross, who officially re-signed with the Orlando Magic on Saturday.

Yet, that wasn’t the 28-year-old’s only unique statistical achievement from his breakout 2018-19 campaign, during which he averaged career highs in points and rebounds while finishing fifth in the NBA in Sixth Man of the Year voting.

The only players who averaged more points per touch than Ross, according to tracking data, were perennial All-Stars Paul George, Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard. Orlando’s sharpshooter averaged 0.455 points per touch, tied with Malik Beasley for fourth among qualified players.

But it becomes even more noteworthy when total touches per game is thrown into the mix. George averaged 59.7 touches per contest, Leonard 57.2 and Thompson 46.3. Ross, meanwhile, averaged 33.3 touches per game, suggesting his offensive production with far fewer opportunities was incredibly impactful.

The about-to-be eight-year NBA veteran was among the elite in many of the league’s key shooting categories. He scored the fifth most points coming off screens, recorded the fourth most catch-and-shoot points and was tied for second with Kemba Walker for most fouls drawn on 3-point attempts, something they each did 34 times. James Harden was No. 1 in that department by a wide margin, getting fouled 93 times while in the act of taking a three.

Ross, who erupted for 30 points or more four times throughout the year including in the regular season finale when he poured in 35 in Charlotte, hit several big shots in clutch moments. The former Washington Husky and 2012 eighth overall NBA draft pick made three of his four shot attempts when the Magic were ahead or behind by three or less in the final 30 seconds of a game. Orlando teammate Evan Fournier made six of his nine attempts in that same situation.

Now that he’s returning, expect Ross to have a similar impact on the Magic in 2019-20 and don’t be surprised if he’s one of the early favorites to win the Sixth Man of the Year honor, which was claimed by Lou Williams the last two seasons.

Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford will continue to rely on the former slam dunk contest champion for a spark off the bench, as the team’s depth will be an integral part of their overall growth.

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