No Way Jose
Calderon firmly entrenched as Toronto’s starting point guard.
After a slow start to the season — at least in relation to the lofty expectations surrounding him — Jose Calderon has found himself smack dab in the middle of a point guard controversy.
The problem with this kind of thinking is Calderon’s backup, Jarrett Jack, is more comfortable coming off the bench. So even if there was a case to be made for Jack starting, there won’t be the kind of controversy or drama attached to the team like when TJ Ford was demanding to start a couple seasons backs.
“I love coming off the bench,” Jack boasted earlier this week. “I think that role suits me and I think it also suits the team. I think we have more than enough fire power in our first five and Jose [Calderon], Hedo [Turkoglo] and Chris [Bosh] can score. And with the way Andrea [Bargnani] is playing? Good gracious! Just to keep it going I think it’s beneficial for guys like myself and Antoine [Wright] to keep coming off the bench.”
Has Calderon gotten of the kind of start fans envision? No, but a large part of that is due to the complete roster overhaul this summer. When a point guard enters camp with only two other familiar faces from the previous season, there are bound to be some growing pains.
Throw in the fact that three players poised to see heavy minutes — Chris Bosh, Hedo Turkoglu and Antoine Wright — missed significant stretches of the preseason, and it makes it extra tough for a point guard to gain chemistry with his new teammates.
“I think he’s just trying to adjust to their style of play as well as fit himself into the equation as well,” Jack explained to the media this week. “I keep telling him to relax and shoot the ball when he’s open. To just be aggressive and make his normal plays. It’s going to come with time.”
The face of the franchise, Chris Bosh, isn’t worried about Calderon’s start to the season. Instead, he chalks up his relatively slow start to being caught in a slump at a time when the media will dwell on it.
“He’s only human,” explained Bosh, when asked about Calderon only dishing out one assist on Wednesday. “We’re all going to go through slumps whether it’s at the beginning, middle or end of the season. He just has to keep his head up and keep working to get out of it. Slumps happen. I know he wants to play well every game but it’s not going to happen every game.”
Which is why fans — and sometimes even media members — need to look at Calderon’s entire body of work. Far too often they tend to forget that Calderon led the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio the past two seasons while setting an NBA record for free throw shooting last season. When it comes to consistency and being able to hand the ball to your point guard and trust to him to make the right decisions, there aren’t many better in the NBA.
Can his defense use some improvement? Sure, but the entire team is struggling on the defensive end so far this season. Hence the reason why the team brought in Marc Iavaroni this summer and why they spent the majority of this week working on cutting off dribble penetration at the point of attack.
So all this talk swirling around about a point guard controversy in Toronto? Please, give it a rest. Calderon is firmly entrenched as Toronto’s starting point guard for the foreseeable future.