That staged climb and quick descent somewhat resembles Ross in the open court, where he has unleashed some of the more memorable dunks this season.
But dunks aren’t enough to get a spot in these rankings. Anyone who regularly reads this piece knows that I cut these kids very little slack. You don’t just have to play; you have to play well. You can’t have a good game here and a solid game there; you have to display some semblance of real consistency that proves you belong.
And Ross doesn’t belong, because he hasn’t been consistent. Two weeks ago, he was ranked a season-high fourth after putting together an extended run where he averaged better than 12 points, including six 3-pointers and 26 points against Portland and top-ranked Damian Lillard.
Since that growth spurt, Ross has 14 points on 6-of-26 shooting in 85 minutes, missing one game with a sprained ankle. So, yeah, he doesn’t belong here.
But he does belong in the Slam Dunk Contest.
Ross had just five baskets this week, but three were dunks. His first came Friday vs. Charlotte.
On Tuesday at Brooklyn, both his baskets were dunks. Below was his best one.
Often, Ross’ dunks come in flurries, like these two in the same game vs. Orlando.
Or these three in the same game at Houston.
I am fully on board with Raptors announcer Matt Devlin, the de facto manager of the “Let Ross Dunk” campaign. I want to see this kid’s trampoline act on All-Star Saturday Night. Throw him into a quartet with James “Flight” White, former champion Gerald Green and defending champion Jeremy Evans and get out of the way.
Who knows? Maybe Ross will use the Slam Dunk Contest as a springboard to get back into these rankings, which are after the jump.