NEW YORK - Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross are enjoying life without Rudy Gay quite a bit.
It’s nothing personal against Gay, a likeable teammate, but on the court, his absence has allowed the second-year players to come out of their shells. With more touches, more time on the floor and more responsibility, both of the sophomores have thrived so far.
Moved into a starting role formerly held by Gay, Ross, the eighth pick of the 2012 draft, has been red hot from outside and posting some of the best scoring numbers of his career. After eclipsing 20 points just once as a rookie, Ross has already done it twice in the eight games since Gay was dealt to Sacramento. He’s connected on 44.2% of his three-point attempts in those eight games after hitting 34% in the 18 prior contests.