Jose Calderon: The Spanish Saviour?

Jeff SantarossaCorrespondent IJanuary 27, 2009

The ship in Raptor Land has been righted for now. Two games with Toronto’s second favourite PG have produced back-to-back wins for the first time since Raptors roamed the earth.

He has been putting points on opponent’s faces and dropping dimes faster than Chuck Barkley at your local casino. He’s had 39 points, 18 assists, and his typical goose egg in the turnover column over the last 2 contests.

Why is there any doubt?

The Raptors’ level of competition, with all due respect to the Bulls and Kings, has been lackluster at best. The Kings have yet to muster 48-plus minutes and beat an Eastern Conference team. But “The Spanish Fly,” as a wise weasel-looking man once said (I love you Swirsk), has provided hope to the players as well as the fans.

This was a Raptors roster that was supposed to make the jump to the Eastern Conference elite. With future, past, and present All-Stars this was the year.

Jose may have put those thoughts back into the mind of the most optimistic of Toronto fans. A player loved in the Toronto area does do some great things. But his inability to keep opposing PGs out of the lane is concerning.

But this is not the key component to the Raptors not being successful. Just go ask a Memphis Grizzlies fan, any three of them, about Pau Gasol?

They will probably tell you how great of a player and person he was to the team. How good is flow looked. But even the kindest of fans will still tell you how he was unable to lead them past the first round. 

The West was a tougher conference back in those days but it sure does sound familiar. This is not to knock Bosh the player. But to point it out, with Bosh as the franchise, that may not be enough.

It is still a good possibility that the Raptors can sneak into the playoffs. A trade and some continued health for the international trio of Bosh, Bargnani, and Calderon will provide fans with this mirage; A team on paper that will compete with the East’s elite.

Hopefully they will prove most of us wrong and Joey G will become the player we all know he can be. Humphries will be the basher down low, Moon will stop taking fadeaways, and there is that glimmer of hope that they will gain some mental toughness and finish out games.

But until then, enjoy a first round loss to the Celtics or even LeBron James.