We get it. The basketball world has been starved for highlights since the 2014-15 season ended in late June. Exhibition play is finally underway, and one of the world’s best players making a play that only someone of his caliber could absolutely deserves attention.
Look closely at the video above as the Toronto Raptors wing stops on a dime and dribbles behind his back from right to left. No, don’t pay attention to basketball’s premier ankle-breaker losing his footing and crumbling to his knees, but watch where the ball goes instead.
Here, we’ve provided a still image to make your life easier:
That’s Ross nearly losing the ball after going behind his back. A split-second before the image above, he reaches out to corral it with his left hand and grasps a fist full of air. If Josh Smith had been playing a more aggressive brand of pick-and-roll defense, there’s a good chance he could have disrupted the play or even started the other way for a dunk.
But its the preseason, so the Clippers’ big man stayed back and Luis Scola allowed his teammate to regain the rock instead of making the safest play by picking it up himself. The result? A made three-pointer and a successful possession for Toronto. When Dwane Casey is going over film of Sunday’s game with his team, though, rest assured that he’ll talk of Ross’ lack of care with the ball well before he mentions Crawford’s lack of balance.
The majority of basketball fans take every opportunity of a primary defender hitting the deck to cry epic crossover, conveniently eschewing any process of nuance and analysis whatsoever. Needless to say, that’s what’s happening here – and frequent highlight-makers like Ross and Crawford deserve better than such forced excitement.