Hoopsworld: Up Close With Jose Calderon
Old 12-10-2009, 03:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hoopsworld: Up Close With Jose Calderon

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Of all the players fans seem to blame most in regards to the Raptors' slow start, starting point guard Jose Calderon seems to get the brunt of it. Among the league's top assist men the last couple of seasons, Calderon's numbers have dropped off a bit, and some believe it's no coincidence that the entire team is struggling as a result. However when Calderon spoke with HOOPSWORLD's Joel Brigham, he clarified that those changes in numbers might not be as negative a thing as some might think…

With the way you guys have struggled this year, what does it mean in terms of turning the team's fortunes around by getting a couple of big wins like you have the last couple nights?

"Hopefully this is the point of the season where we start to play a little bit better. I think we're a much better team than our record shows. We've just had a hard time with consistently—playing 48 minutes and not getting a lot of points. So it's been great. A couple of really great games for us that we really needed. We want to get back to the type of basketball we played at the beginning of the season."

Up until recently it really has been a frustrating season for this team. And your record can't be where you'd hoped it would be. What's been behind some of the struggles you guys have been having early this season?

"We're a really good team, but we've got nine new players and a new staff, so we just didn't know each other all that well. And I think that was it. We just needed to play better as a team. It wasn't anything like how we were shooting the ball or anything like that. We just needed to play more like a team."

Your assist numbers are down almost two per game compared to your previous two seasons, despite having added a lot of offensive weapons in the offseason. How does a guy who was among the league's best in assists per game last year drop to only 6.5 per game?

"It's because we've got more guys that can handle the ball, like Hedo and Jack, and that's all it is. We've got other playmakers on the court, so I don't have to have the ball in my hands as much. This just makes it easier for me because some of that pressure is out of my hands. Hedo can make plays for other guys. Jarrett can make plays, too. So my assists are down, but I don't care. I really like it, having more options with the offense."

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