A few quick notes regarding my previous post regarding Calderon, based on some feedback via e-mail and the comments:
No, I don't think the Raptors should necessarily be actively trying to trade him, sit him or whatever else. When healthy the guy's track record is pretty good and for those who might argue it's been compiled mostly as a second-unit guy I would point to the long stretches he played as a starter in 2007-08 when Ford was hurt and argue his point-guard play was very close to superb. Over time, as long as he's healthy, I see no reason why Calderon won't play at the level he's shown he's more than capable of reaching: 12-14 points and very near 50 per cent from the floor and 40 per cent from three. His assists will likely be down because Turkoglu will handle the ball more, but his efficiency will remain. Defensively he's not going to be Gary Payton, but he needs to be the best version of himself he can be. If he does that, he'll easily continue to be a good NBA point guard, if a notch below guys like Nash, Williams, Paul, etc.
As I think I made clear, the circumstances weren't in his favour: Williams was rested and sharp; Calderon was playing on the second night of a back-to-back and probably additionally spent given the first night was in Denver. It's not that Calderon is irredeemably awful, but he was that game.
And no, I wasn't trying to pin the loss on one guy. Bargnani, Turkoglu, Jack….all not good, but again, the schedule is a major determining factor in NBA wins and losses. As I wrote when the trip started 1-3 was a likely result; finishing December within sight of a .500 record will be a significant accomplishment, and from that point they'll have a chance, if healthy, to push themselves into the mix for a seed in the bottom half of the playoff draw.
That said, the Raptors got into a deep hole early because Deron Williams had free reign early. I cited a couple of examples - and there were more - where Williams was making plays without resistance, and Calderon was accountable, in my eyes.
Deciphering what exactly goes wrong on the defensive end of the floor is a bit of a mug's game in the NBA, as it's not always clear who exactly is responsible for a made basket. But defending the ball early in a possession is essential and even the smallest efforts can pay dividends: forcing an extra turn to burn up a couple of seconds of shot clock; causing the dribbler to take a slightly longer route on his way to the basket; herding the ball-handler to the left side of the floor so he has to make a cross-court pass with his weak hand or stop and put a second hand on the ball so the pass is delivered later or with more of an arc so the rotation has that much more time to respond. Those steps were not apparent on Wednesday night.