Monday, April 4, 2011

Raptors Report Week 22: Jose Calderon on the Way Out?

This article is by Sachin Arora, who also is the main contributor of, a new Raptors fan-blog.
Mike Cassese/REUTERS
The Raptors finally snapped their losing streak against the Orlando Magic, and Jarryd Bayless was one of the main reasons why.
Once again, Bayless has sparked a point guard controversy. For some reason, the young point guard only seems to play well when Jose Calderon is out of the line-up and Bayless is in the starting line-up.
The reason for this is probably because Bayless is very potent, but when he’s coming off the bench he feels urged to force his offense because he needs to earn his minutes. When he’s starting he plays much more relaxed, and is in much more control.
Calderon will probably be shut down for the rest of the season, and Bayless will be given the keys.
Bayless is averaging 15.9 points in 8 games starter along with 7.5 assists.
If Bayless continues his stellar play for the rest of the season, Jose Calderon could start next season on the bench, or even on another team.
The Raptors might even end up drafting a point guard, and this will make Calderon even more expendable.
On another note, Andrea Bargnani is still being bothered by his ankle, and could very well be shut down for the remaining games.
Anyway, onto the report.
Record: 1-2
Performance on a scale of 1-10: 7.5
Here is a recap of the three games.
Raptors vs Bucks, L 98-104
The Raps were in it the whole game, and were solid defensively and on the glass. Andrea Bargnani finished with 22 points in his return to the line-up, and DeMar DeRozan contributed 20.
The effort just wasn’t on the level of the Bucks. The Bucks are trying to make a playoff push, and the Raps just didn’t give a strong enough effort to get the W. Also, Andrea Bargnani only had two rebounds, which is quite frankly, embarassing.
Raptors @ Bulls, L 106-113
This was a successful game for the Raptors considering they scorched the NBA’s top defense for 106 points despite missing top scorer Andrea Bargnani and top distributor Jose Calderon. Without Bargnani in the line-up, the team looked much better defensively and played with much more energy. I don’t know if this is a coincidence, or if Bargnani just doesn’t motivate the team.
Jerryd Bayless was great as a starter once again, recording 26 points with 8 dimes, and Ed Davis recorded a double double of 17-11. DeMar DeRozan was also great with 26 and Leandro Barbosa contributed 18 off the bench.
The Raps just didn’t rebound the ball well, and couldn’t finish the possessions. Derrick Rose was too good for the Raptors to handle, and the defense wasn’t good enough to secure the W. Reguardless, the Raps were in it the whole game, and this was a great effort.
Raptors vs Magic, W 102-98
Hedo Turkoglu’s return to Toronto was not very pleasant. He was booed and had a pretty poor game, and this has to be something to get Toronto fans happy. The Raps pulled out a phenomenal win in this one, taking down the Magic in front of a sold out ACC crowd.
Defensively, the team was fantastic, limiting the Magic to 98 points. On the glass, unbelievable. Reggie Evans tore down 17 rebounds, and outrebounded Dwight Howard. Jerryd Bayless was great once again, recording 23 points with 8 assists. DeMar DeRozan was fantastic, finishing with 24 points. His jumpshot was great , and he seemed to hit big shots at the right time. Leandro Barbosa also provided a nice spark off the bench.
Once again, Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani were out, but the effort seemed to be better.
The Raptors had a hard time containing Dwight Howard. Not much else to say.
Overall, it was nice to see the Raps get a win and snap their losing streak. It’s great for the young guys’ confidence.

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