Yesterday the news broke that Terrence Ross would miss a “significant amount of time” due to a knee injury sustained in Wednesday night’s win against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Ross sustained a sprained MCL and a non-displaced fracture of his right tibial plateau and is out indefinately. Ross, who was recently moved to the bench, had averaged 9.0 points, 1.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds this season prior to the injury but was shooting career low’s in both field goal and three-point percentage.
Terrence Ross Injury Presents Opportunity on the Orlando Magic Roster
Although the injury will be a blow to the Orlando Magic, there are several players on the roster who will see this as an opportunity to make some noise in a team that has been underwhelming in recent weeks.
Almost immediately following the news of Ross’ injury, the Magic announced that they had recalled rookie Wesley Iwundu from Lakeland in the G-League to add depth to the roster. Iwundu, who like Ross can play the two or the three, has spent the majority of this season in Lakeland, finding gametime limited in the NBA. Through his five games in Orlando, Iwundu averaged just 1.8 points through five minutes, shooting 40% from the floor. Although these are somewhat underwhelming, Iwundu impressed in the Orlando Summer League where he recorded 12.2 points, 1.7 steals and 8.3 rebounds per 48 minutes. Iwundu displayed significant qualities in July, his energy, intensity and maturity making him an instant favourite with Magic fans, and his recall to the team could suggest an opportunity for the second-round pick in the coming weeks.
Looking to Bounce Back
The injury to Ross will also most likely give Mario Hezonja and Arron Afflalo the majority of minutes to fill. Afflalo has had a tough start to life back with the Magic, through 11.3 minutes per game he is averaging just 1.9 points per game, whilst shooting a career worst 30.3% from the field. Despite this, Afflalo provides an experienced backup option who is more that capable of filling in for Ross. Afflalo is best known for his offensive capabilities and has shot an efficient 45% from the floor over his career.
Similarly, Hezonja will also need to make the most of this opportunity in an attempt to salvage his career in Orlando. The Croatian is averaging a career worst 3.0 points per game, but is playing almost five minutes less per game than last season. Hezonja has been less than impressive since being drafted by the Magic back in 2015 but has shown flashes of potential. Hezonja is shooting a career-high 38.1% from beyond the arc this season and will can hope to make an impact in Ross’ absence.
Although the Magic will undoubtedly miss Ross, there is certainly depth in the roster capable of filling in. The only question that remains is, which one of them will step up and make the biggest impact.
Embed from Getty Images