Grading Jose Calderon's First Games with Detroit Pistons

Jay Wierenga@@JayWierengaCorrespondent IFebruary 15, 2013

Feb 13, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons point guard Jose Calderon (8) during the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards at The Palace. Detroit won 96-85. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Trading for Jose Calderon was the single most important move the Detroit Pistons have made in the last five years, aside from drafting Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.

The move to bring in the fleet-footed Spaniard has sent shock waves throughout the team and has in some way, shape or form affected everyone.

Obviously not everyone has been effected positively, but at the very least having Calderon around has shown the Pistons what life can be like with a true point guard.


Game one: @ New York Knicks


It took two games before Calderon could officially join the Pistons due to visa issues, but finally he made his debut in Madison Square Garden.

Calderon was obviously rusty and his teammates took some time learning their new leader.

That being said, Calderon's shot looked good as he went 7-12 and scored 15 points.

But the Knicks recent dominance over the Pistons could not be answered as they easily defeated Detroit 99-85.

With the exception of maybe Greg Monroe, nobody on Detroit looked great in this game as either they were moping about losing Tayshaun Prince or they were just standing around watching Calderon. But the majority of the players struggled on this night.



Game two: vs Brooklyn Nets


In his second game in Detroit, he was tasked with guarding one of the league's best point guards, Deron Williams.

The Pistons immediately looked better, but still not great for an entire game. In the first half, they looked as though they might run away with the game, but the Brooklyn Nets came storming back and won by three, 93-90.

Calderon deferred more to his mates in this game, scoring only eight points but handing out nine assists.

His teammates were finally starting to show some life in this game and Greg Monroe even managed 23 points to go along with 10 boards.

That being said, Calderon still was learning this team and figuring out where his players needed or wanted the ball. Several passes were bobbled or flat-out dropped, resulting in turnovers.



Game three: vs San Antonio Spurs


The third game of Calderon's tenure in Detroit brought one of the league's powerhouses, the San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs were without several of their big names, but they still were riding a winning streak.

Detroit stepped up their performances, led by Monroe and his 26 points and 16 rebounds.

Finally some of the wing players decided to join the party as Rodney Stuckey, Kyle Singler and Brandon Knight each had good games.

Knight in particular looked good as he finally started to figure out how to work off of Calderon, getting to the hoop and not relying too much on his outside shot.

Charlie Villanueva seemed to benefit the most from Calderon on this night, hitting five triples and finishing the game with 21 as the Pistons easily beat the Spurs 119-109.

Calderon's numbers were a little more humble, scoring seven points and handing out eight assists. However, he didn't commit a turnover and his play was excellent.



Game four: @ Milwaukee Bucks


In his fourth game with Detroit, Calderon had the challenge of going head-to-head with one of the more explosive back courts in the conference.

Brandon Jennings is always going to give defenders fits, especially those that aren't known for their defense. But on this night, the Pistons couldn't hide Calderon as the Bucks also feature Monta Ellis.

But the Pistons' guards hung tough against the Bucks and held Ellis to only eight points and Jennings was forced to take too many ill-advised shots.

The Pistons offensively were paced by Calderon and his 23 points and 10 assists. What's more is that he only missed three of his 13 shots from the field.

The team played very well overall and beat the Bucks 105-100.

Villanueva had another great effort, knocking down four threes and scoring 18 points.

But Knight struggled mightily, being held to only four points on two of 13 shooting.



Game five: vs New Orleans Hornets


The fifth game of the Calderon experience was a good old fashioned butt-kicking.

Sadly, the Pistons were on the wrong end of it.

During the first half, the New Orleans Hornets initially looked somewhat thrown off by the Pistons attack, but after a first quarter timeout, they changed their approach and from that point forward beat the Pistons at their own game.

They pushed the ball and were routinely rewarded with easy hoops and dunks.

Hornets point guard Greivis Vasquez was the main antagonist, essentially playing Calderon's game and finished with 13 assists and Ryan Anderson knocked down a ton of shots and led the team with 31 points.

Calderon had a good game, chipping in with four steals to go along with 13 points, nine assists and only one turnover.

But besides Stuckey, Monroe and Singler the team struggled mightily. Knight yet again didn't show up and seven points on 30 percent shooting.



Game six: vs Washington Wizards


In the Pistons' last game before the All-Star break, they welcomed the suddenly hot Washington Wizards who have been a different team since star point guard John Wall returned from injury.

For three quarters, this game looked like it was slightly favoring Washington, but Calderon would not let this team die.

They outscored the Wizards 31-17 in the final quarter and won 96-85.

Calderon, simply put, was a scoring machine. He led the team with 24 points although he only had three assists and five turnovers.

But the Pistons featured a three guard approach that seemed to work well for them, playing Will Bynum and Stuckey along with Calderon.

The results were very effective as both Calderon and Bynum took turns running the offense. Bynum had his best game since Calderon arrived, scoring 20 points to go along with eight assists.

Calderon not only showed Knight how to play the point guard position, but he showed him how to play off the ball too in this game.

Knight, sadly, had yet another stinker of a game, scoring only six points.


Overall, Calderon has been an absolute stud for Detroit and it has been shown in their record.

This team is finally playing with purpose and drive and looks like they could have an outside shot at making the playoffs.

The biggest winners thus far in this trade appear to be Singler, Monroe and Villanueva.

The biggest loser is without a doubt Knight. He looks lost right now and could potentially be shopped before the trade deadline.

What a sad turn of events for the young guard.

Overall grade: B+


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