COMMENTARY | Rudy Gay avoided being shelved for the remainder of the season after being given the green light by Toronto's medical staff earlier this week. However, despite posting a double-double in his first game back, there are still reasons for concerns and the possibility of the team shutting him down still lingers.
Gay coughed the ball up twice during the first half against Atlanta and didn't look comfortable at times on the court. He finished the game with 15 points and 12 rebounds, but he went 6-14 from the field and he also finished with five turnovers. Despite the impressive stat line it's clear Gay is playing through back issues. His mobility is effected and his passing hasn't been as crisp as it should be resulting in his high amount of turnovers.
Against Detroit he wasn't effective in the first half but exploded for 19 points in the third quarter. He finished with a team-high 21 points and was a big reason why Toronto stole a road win.
Gay didn't make the trip to New York last weekend due to his back issues and it's still possible Toronto shuts him down for the remainder of the season. There's no risk of further injury and with the end of the season looming Gay wants to play through things because he will have nearly six months to rest up.
Toronto isn't battling for a playoff spot and is looking to give high-flying rookie Terrence Ross some more minutes over the team's last ten games. Look for the team to scale back Gay's minutes in order to give Ross some starts and more playing time.
Ross responded well when given the start last weekend by scoring 13 points and grabbing six rebounds. He scored in double figures again on Wednesday (13 points) despite coming off the bench and only playing 23 minutes.
Ryan McNeill lives in Toronto and has been covering the Raptors since the 2007-08 season with media passes.
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