Jose Calderon: A Pleasant Surprise
One of the most interesting storylines of the Cavs’ season so far, along with Lebron James’ historic numbers in his 15th (!) season, has been the revival of the team’s bench.
After being a weak spot for so many years, the front office went out and strengthened the second unit during the offseason, adding several new faces, including guards Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and Jose Calderon, in a trend that coincided with an overall retooling of the roster.
With Rose receiving attention for injury issues and retirement rumors and Wade getting his usual praise from the media, Jose Calderon has been overlooked in this trifecta of guards, which is a shame considering his performance.
After not receiving a lot of playing time over the beginning of the season, coach Tyronn Lue began to give Calderon significant minutes early in the Cavaliers’ 13 game win streak and the results have definitely been positive.
Calderon has proven to be a steadying presence on offense who has been willing to step up when needed.
Take the Cavs’ last game, Thursday’s 121-112 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Getting the start and seeing that the contest would be an offensive showdown from the beginning, he was not afraid to shoot, going 6-9 from the field, 5-8 from three-point range and finishing with a season-high 17 points, all of which were extremely valuable in securing a Cavaliers’ victory.
He also helped his teammates by dishing out six assists, which showcased his prototypical point guard skills and mindset.
This is coming from an acquisition who, after playing 41 games in the NBA last season between the Hawks and Lakers, was thought of by many as being a washed up and useless NBA player. This has been proven wrong this season, with Calderon averaging respectable numbers in PPG (4.3), and proving to be lethal from the free-throw line (87.5%) and three-point line (51.4%).
Despite this positivity, one needs to be realistic with what Calderon’s limitations and whether he can continue this performance further into the year.
After all, Calderon has a somewhat small sample size, only playing in 20 of the team’s 29 games,and his defense, as always, leaves a lot to be desired.
However, throughout his career, Calderon has been a known quantity.
From his prime in Toronto to his time bouncing around the league, he has had the reputation of being a reputable floor general who is a knockdown shooter from three and the line, which he has definitely been so far this year.
The Cavs might be getting a 36-year-old version of this player, but they are getting an effective version nonetheless, which makes his signing for the league minimum a real steal for GM Koby Altman.
Overall, the Cavs have to be somewhat thrilled with this signing and hope that his recent strong performance continues in the regular season and well into the playoffs, where it is often a role player that makes the biggest difference in tight games.
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Image: Fox Sports