Piston of the Week: Jose Calderon


Piston of the Week (3/3/2013 – 3/8/2013): Jose Calderon

10.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 8.3 assists while shooting 46 percent from the field.

Alright, if you were looking for variety I apologize ahead of time. Until we (hopefully) see Andre Drummond back this season, it’s going to be a revolving door of Greg Monroe and Jose Calderon.

Despite another bad week of shortcoming and blowouts, Calderon showed why veteran point guards who can produce no matter what the situation surrounding them is are coveted. I might have made that description of point guards up, but think about it — if you’re a contender and all you need right now is a point guard, is Calderon near the top of your list?

This is assuming you’re looking at comparable point guards — no one is taking Calderon over Chris Paul. Say I gave you these three mystery players, and you need one guy who’s going to be able to produce no matter the surroundings he’s tossed into. With this, you’re not taking into account age or contact, just pure ability based, of course, on the numbers provided; who do you take?

  1. Player A: 17.4 points (43 percent shooting), 7.4 assists, 2.9 turnovers and 3.1 rebounds per 36 minutes.
  2. Player B: 12.9 points (49 percent shooting), 8.9 assists, 1.9 turnovers and 3.6 rebounds per 36 minutes.
  3. Player C: 17.5 points (45 percent shooting), 8.1 assists, 3.7 turnovers and 3.9 rebounds per 36 minutes.

Those are just the basic stats, though. Let’s take it a little bit further, maybe include defense, which everyone reading this will nod their head in agreement as I mention Calderon’s Swiss-cheese ways on that end of the court.

Just as a tip, Ortg is a players offensive rating, which is an estimate of points produced per 100 possessions, Drtg is a defensive rating, an estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions and DEF, which is HoopData’s way of tracking steals+blocks+charges per game.

  1. Player A: Ortg of 114, Drtg of 108 and DEF of 1.69.
  2. Player B: Ortg of 126, Drtg of 109 and DEF of 1.33.
  3. Player C: Ortg of 100, Drtg of 106 and DEF of 2.18.

So, with that in mind, defense is basically a push for Player A and Player B. Player C plays slightly better defense when you take into account the tangible stats of steals and blocks while combing charges, too. In terms of overall offensive production from a volume and efficiency standpoint, Player B trumps Player A and Player C, while being an equally below average defender along with Player A.

Now, here’s the part that’s going to blow your mind. Player A is Brooklyn Nets’ point guard Deron Williams, easily the most ballyhooed of the trio. Also the least efficient and sub-par player on both sides of the ball. He’s also being paid $19 million a season through 2016.

Then there’s Player C. If you had to pick between these three guys, knowing who they are, this is probably the guy you take. It’s Philadelphia point guard Jrue Holiday. Turnovers are the fourth-year guard’s biggest problem right now, but he’s an improving defender. The most startling thing with him is that, despite being top 10 in assists, his offensive rating is a mere 100, which is the average.

As you’ve probably guessed, Player B is Calderon. His defense is bad, we know that, but it’s no worse than Williams and is only slightly worse than Holiday. That’s per-36 minutes, though, and when you go back to his numbers at the minutes he actually plays, his defense drops and the Drtg goes up to 111. His offense, though, is completely off the charts — even with the anemic supporting cast he’s got in Detroit.

That’s one thing he’s always going to bring to the table, an ability to set guys up and make perimeter shots while limiting turnovers.

Regardless, it shows that Calderon might not match up when it comes to names or hype, but he’s as solid as any point guard in the NBA at certain things. There are very few elite players who can be like LeBron James and excel in every aspect, but when you look at the group of guys who are still very good despite losing situations, Calderon has to be near the top of that list.

I suppose you could just file this post away in the folder with all of the other “Joe Dumars needs to re-sign Calderon this offseason” posts that have been published here in the month that Calderon has been around.

*Data was collected using Hoopdata and Basketball Reference. 

Past Winners