Every dies, baby that’s a fact / But maybe everything someday comes back
Maybe it was a holdover from Halloween, but it was undeniable that Jose Calderon looked like a corpse to start this season. In his first six games, the Spaniard shot like a stormtrooper and defended… pretty much the way he normally does.
But he’s beginning to play like a real NBA point guard again, and perhaps beginning to quell talk that he would lose his starting spot to Langston Galloway or Jerian Grant. Since playing the Lakers—a panacea for many ailing players these days—Calderon has sported healthy 69.8 TS% and seen his playing time jump from 20 to 28 minutes per game, despite the return of Arron Afflalo.
For the season, Jose has brought his shooting numbers closer to career averages, a good sign for a guy who’s been one of the best shooters in the league. Contrast with Grant, who has really struggled with this shot particularly from three (11%). Of course, Calderon has never been as proficient as Grant is at getting into the lane and drawing fouls. Calderon shoots one free throw per 100 possessions. Grant takes 7.3.
Calderon’s three field goals against Houston were all catch-and-shoot three-pointers, two of which relied on screens, and one that relied on comatose, Kardashian-addled, Adidas-money-drunk James Harden.
Jose is playing within the offense and hitting the available shot, which, right now, is helping the Knicks offense a bit more than Jerian Grant’s penetration. Perhaps Calderon’s resurgence will put pressure back on Grant to start producing on offense. In the meantime it will allow the veteran to hold off talks of his hopefully premature demise.