Toronto Raptors: Why Jose Calderon Is the Most Underrated PG in the NBA

Patrick Yaghoobians@PyaghoobiansAnalyst IIJanuary 19, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 26:  Jose Calderon #8 of the Toronto Raptors drives to the basket against Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the season opener at Quicken Loans Arena on December 26, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

During the summer of 2005, the Toronto Raptors signed a young, Spanish point guard by the name of Jose Calderon. No one expected it to make a huge impact, but Calderon has been a big part of this franchise and one of the best players to don the Raptors uniform.

Calderon has had his ups and downs as a Raptor, especially whenever there was a point guard controversy. Twice in his career, Calderon has been part of a controversy over who should be the starting point guard for the team.

At one point, former Raptor T.J. Ford and Calderon were battling it out, in which Calderon emerged as the starter, and just last season, Jarrett Jack and Calderon were also in a battle for starting point guard. Calderon prevailed once again.

Despite having his troubles the past two seasons, Calderon has played great. He has averaged around 10 points and nine assists the past two seasons, and although the numbers are not so impressive, it is not always the stats that show the whole story.

Calderon is having his best season so far, averaging 9.1 assists and 11.7 points per game along with 3.6 rebounds per game. He is also turning the ball over 1.8 times per game, which is very good considering the amount of assists he is getting.

One stat that is very overlooked by NBA fans is the assist-to-turnover ratio. This stat basically divides the average assists by the amount of turnovers and gives you the stat. Calderon has always been at the top of this category from the '07-08 to this season excluding the '09-10 season. The only other player to always be near the top in this category is Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul.

There probably are a number of us who have played the popular game NBA 2K12. In the "My Player" mode, if you pass the ball to a player, who then gets an assist after passing it to another teammate, you are rewarded with something that says "pass to assist."

This is something that Calderon gets a lot, and the stats do not show it. He is always trying to get the best possible scenario from a play and never tries to make a pass harder than it should be, and that is why he is one of the best offensive floor generals, despite his speed.

Aside from passing, Calderon is a great shooter. His career average of shooting 49 percent from the floor along with 38 percent from behind the arc show that he is capable of scoring from close and far, but he hesitates to shoot sometimes. If Calderon were to be a little more aggressive at times, then he could be averaging close to 16 points, which is something Calderon is capable of doing.

One thing Jose is known for is playing bad defense, and the main reason for that is quickness. Calderon always gets beat off the dribble by younger and quicker point guards, but this season, his defense has improved under Dwane Casey (just ask Kyrie Irving).

It is odd for someone like Calderon who leads the league in overall assists and assist-to-turnover ratio to be snubbed so often, but playing on a young team with a bad record, you tend to get overlooked.

There are obviously many point guards just like Calderon who get overlooked such as Raymond Felton, Kyle Lowry and Ty Lawson.

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