All-Star weekend is just one day away, with the festivities starting Friday night with the celebrity game and rookie-sophomore game. Saturday night consists of the Skills competition, three-point contest and the dunk-off. Even though all these smaller events are fun to watch and very entertaining, most of the emphasis is on the big game on Sunday where all the stars come out and showcase their skills in a fun but competitive game (well in the fourth quarter). But like always there are a couple of people who get overlooked and do not get to participate in a game that they deserve to be in. Baron Davis, Hedo Turkoglu, Josh Smith just to name a few. But I am not here to talk about these guys. I’m here to talk about someone who should have been on the Eastern Conference squad. Someone that has stepped up when a fellow teammate has gone down. Someone who has showcased that they are one of the best at running the point at a very consistent level.
I’m talking about Jose Calderon.
Since T.J Ford’s injury early December, Jose has done nothing but fill his shoes and help lead the Raptors on the floor night in and night out. With his quick thinking and great awareness on the court, it seems like he can’t do any wrong in a game. Calderon is always under control even when the game is on the line. Can you remember a time where he took a bad shot or tried a behind the back pass to look fancy and turned it over? What he does is simple. Fundamental basketball is his game and he is putting the league on notice that he is not just a backup point guard. Calderon could be starting on almost any team in the NBA. But according to one person, he should have never been mentioned in All-Star talks.
“On the East side, I don’t know if there were any big snubs. I mean, some people wanted Jose Calderon. Jose Calderon? Who? Come on man, this is All-Star, people. When I’ve seen some of the names that are being thrown around on the ticker as snubs, it’s killing me. I understand Calderon has the best assist-turnover ratio in the league, but you know what’s funny? All back-up point guards have the best assist-turnover ratios. Screw it, Kevin Ollie should be an All-Star then! For like five or six years, Ollie was No. 1 in assist-turnover ratio!An All-Star is an All-Star! He’s playing at a high level. That means, if you take him off the team, that team should fall down if he’s that one guy. An All-Star means that he is dominating the game of basketball. It’s not even about numbers necessarily, it’s about dominating.I could probably say that Richard Jefferson got snubbed maybe Josh Smith too. His 18 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks puts him at No. 14. Richard Jefferson is No. 13. Turkoglu is No. 15. But, El Calderon? Come on.I’ve been loving the way he’s been playing for the last two years. When he first came into the league he was a little timid and scared to shoot the ball, but he’s taking over that team. But All-Star? He’s about 20 years away from being an All-Star.”
Now I personally love Gilbert’s blog and what he usually writes but when I read this I was shocked. I could not understand the comparison of Kevin Ollie to Jose Calderon. It just doesn’t make any sense. I’m guessing that Mr. Arenas is not following much basketball during his time off (get better soon by the way) but it’s ludicrous to say that Jose should not even of been considered.
“I understand Calderon has the best assist-turnover ratio in the league, but you know what’s funny? All back-up point guards have the best assist-turnover ratios.“
Backup point guards may have the best assist-turnover ratios in the game but let me ask you this: how many backup point guards average 26.8 minutes a game? Before Ford went down, Jose was averaging 26.8 minutes. Kevin Ollie is averaging 8.3 minutes a game. Jose is averaging 8.9 assists on the year (which is fifth in the NBA). Ollie is averaging 1.2 assists. Using my Sherlock Holmes skills I decided to dig deeper into this comparison of Calderon against Ollie and decided to compare the two in full detail. After combing through the statistics that each player has put up so far this year, it’s obvious who plays a bigger role off of the bench for their respective teams. In fact, it’s so one-sided in Calderon’s favour that there is little sense in discussing it further.
Here’s another quote I like that Arenas said.
“An All-Star is an All-Star! He’s playing at a high level. That means, if you take him off the team, that team should fall down if he’s that one guy. An All-Star means that he is dominating the game of basketball. It’s not even about numbers necessarily, it’s about dominating.“
So Mr. Arenas, is Jose not playing at a high level? He is fifth in the league in assists. Shooting over 54% from the field, 47% from behind the arc and his assist–turnover ratio is 5.51 which is he best in the league. But yeah he’s just playing average.
As for dominating a game, when was the last time that Joe Johnson has done that? Last time I checked Atlanta is 21-28 and in which Mr. Johnson should not be attending this years All-Star game. Yes he is a good player, but he is not helping his team win games. On the other hand, the Raptors are in second place with a record of 28-23 which Calderon has had his share of big moments and showed composure when the game was tight.
My final thought is this about your recent bashing of Calderon. Everyone starts at the bottom. Did you not start off your career sitting on the bench awaiting your chance to show what you have to offer any team? This is exactly what Calderon is doing. He is showcasing his talent to the whole world at every game. Unfortunately he won’t be showcasing his talent at a game that is watched worldwide and one that includes the best of the best. I am a fan of yours Gilbert, but I disagree on this topic 100%. Even though I am a Raptors fan at heart, Jose should have made the All-Star team.
Don’t worry Jose, Toronto has your back. We appreciate your efforts and hope you continue to contribute to the Raptors all year long.