Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jose Calderon: Cause for Concern?

Largely due to the bench, the Raptors defeated the Pistons at the ACC last night 110-99. Chris Bosh had 25 points, while Andrea Bargnani posted 22 points and 12 rebounds...that's right folks, 12 rebounds for Ill Mago.

But I'm not here to write about the victory. I'm here to write about a more serious concern, and that is the play of PG Jose Calderon. In 31 minutes of action, Calderon put up a measly 9 points and 1 assists, which didn't come until late in the game. Ouch.

Calderon's season has been off to a very slow start, particularly at the defensive end. Play after play, Calderon gets burned by PG's. I can think of a handful of times last night when Rodney Stuckey, an average PG at best, blew by Jose Calderon for an easy lay in. Calderon's defense was a problem last year and the same concern is still prevalent.

On the other hand, Calderon's backup Jarrett Jack, had a terrific game. In 31 minutes (same as Calderon), Jack had 9 points, 6 assists, and actually played defense, which is something the Raptors aren't accustomed too.

But when asked if he was happy with his play, Calderon didn't hesitate.

"No. I could get better in what happens on the floor and (my) offence and defence have got to be much better,”

“It's only four games into the season right now,” he said. “I try to give my best but when we are winning it (his stat totals) doesn't matter. I have to practice to play my best basketball (but) we have guys who are playing really good so it's great.”

“A lot of that has maybe been due to the rust and the fact that this is the first time in his career he had that much time away from professional basketball,” said Raptors coach Jay Triano.

Excuses, excuses, excuses, right coach? I've heard it a million times--battered body, hasn't played in a while, he needs time, yada, yada, yada. I'm sick of it--I want results. And time isn't something the Raptors have on their side right now. Last I checked, Chris Bosh will be a free agent in 7 months, and if the Raptors have any shot of keeping him, they need to win. Now.

Last year, I made a bold prediction, stating I thought Jose Calderon would be a top PG in the East this season. Given the slow start, this may not be possible.

Granted, we are only 4 games into the year, and there's 78 more to go, but it's all about first impressions. And as of right now, I'm not too impressed with Jose Calderon.

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