Once an afterthought following the departure of Kyrie Irving and the much ballyhooed arrival of Isaiah Thomas, Jose Calderon may quietly be the best point guard in Cleveland.
Buried on the bench behind the forementioned Thomas and Derrick Rose–and most recently the newly acquired George Hill–the journeyman Spanish point guard quietly stayed ready and able for when his number was called.
When it has been called, the three-time defending East champs have gone 23-9 when he starts. Thanks to his 19-point eruption in a 122-116 win over one of his former teams in the East-leading Toronto Raptors, the case can be made for him to remain the Cavs starter at PG.
In 13 years, the 36-year-old native of Villanueva de la Serena, Spain has played for the forementioned Raptors, Knicks, Mavericks, Pistons, Lakers and Hawks, and now the Cavs.
A lanky 6’3, one would assume that today’s uber-athletic 6’7-plus guards would just treat him like a traffic cone, however thanks to his veteran wiliness, Calderon has proven to be more of a pest to opposing guards, thank anyone could imagine.
Per The Chronicle’s Jim Ingraham recently stated, in the Cavs’ last 12 games, every one critical as they try to nail down the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, Calderon has averaged 21 minutes per game, shot 55 percent from the field, 53 percent from behind the arc and 91 percent from the free throw line, while averaging 8.2 points and three assists per game.
As the Raptors can surely attest, Calderon has recently risen to the occasion. In the Cavs’ two biggest late-season wins, both vs. No. 1 seed Toronto in the last two weeks, Calderon averaged 16.5 points (four times his season average), shot 67 percent from the field (12-for-18) and 78 percent from the arc (7-for-9).
Not bad for a guy who has been traded five times and waived twice.
It looks like Uncle Jose–as he is now called by fans–may have finally found a home in The Land.
Thankfully both the Cavs and Calderon are proving to be a perfect match for one another.