RR Ratings – Part II

After my third round of Wiser’s, I concluded that my ratings for Part I were way too generous. So I’ll make it up this time.

After my third round of Wiser’s, I concluded that my ratings for Part I were way too generous. So I’ll make it up this time, keep in mind that the grades are relative to expectations. Rounding out the RR Ratings:

Jose Calderon (26.5 mpg, 9.8 ppg, 7.2 apg, 1.16 spg, 0.97 tpg): After being written off as a defensive liability and shoved onto the trading block, Calderon’s resurgence has coincided with the outright declaration that the Spaniard is the uncontested starting point guard. Rebuffing the myth that he is unable to lead an up-tempo offense, Calderon has adjusted his game to become less risk-averse and is now more inclined to pick leak-outs and opportunities in transition. It’s no surprise that he’s being lauded for his play despite having an 18.2% turnover rate, the highest since his rookie year. His assist-to-turnover rate – which announcers used to drool over – is at a 4-year low, proving once again that that statistic means little. Surprisingly enough, Calderon’s effectiveness on defense has also improved, and that could be a by-product of being fully fit, his 1.16 steals lead the team and he’s often seen pressuring opponents mid-court rather successfully. Don’t get me wrong, Calderon is still a poor defensive player and still has nights where he’s literally abused, but his offensive efficiency and defensive effort seem to have been making up for it of late. Throw in a renewed sense of optimism and you have yourself a Hollywood movie – Calderon 2.0: The Rebirth. B-

Amir Johnson (22.8 mpg, 8.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.7 ppg, 1.1 bpg): Just like DeRozan, his PER36 numbers from this season and last are a wash, which is a problem because these were two players that were supposed to have a major say this season. Johnson’s had 14 games where he’s been held to under 6 points and 12 games where he’s got under 4 rebounds, these outings have created a dip in his consistency level to the point where nobody’s quite sure what to expect of him. It’s like rolling the dice. On the bright side, he has an improved jumper and is an excellent FT shooter. In terms of on-off stats, he’s the anti-Bargnani: +15.0. Johnson’s help defense is the best on the team which makes you want to forgive his (slightly improving) foul rate – every 6.2 minutes compared to 5.7 last season – except when he picks them up early to completely take himself out of the game. Jay Triano needs to reflect on that strategy as well, because rarely (never?) has Johnson picked up two quick fouls, gone to the bench, and returned with a strong second half. A different school of thought might suggest that he needs to play till he fouls out – something he’s only done three times all season. C+

Jerryd Bayless (18.5 mpg, 8.6 ppg, 3.4 apg, 1.6 tpg): He’s been handed the keys to the second-unit and has performed better than most expected. Coming in with a reputation of being a shoot-first PG, Bayless has worked hard to shed that label and is trying to use his drive-and-kick to create shots. Hardly a bonafide floor general, Bayless relies on his quickness to get to the lane, problem comes when he gets there. Lacking the strength and size to finish consistently or the court vision to pick out passers, he gets into trouble, but it’s trouble the Raptors can live with in the name of rebuilding. A 22 years of age, Bayless has the potential to fit in perfectly with the youth movement, and one hopes that he can improve his intelligence and court-sense in the next year or so. Top of the list on things to improve is to maintain his dribble under pressure, scout passing options before he makes his drive, and hone that improving jumper to the point where his quickness becomes easier to use. Bayless’ defense has also been a pleasant surprise and he hasn’t been the foul-machine Hollinger made him out to be. At best, his NBA outlook seems to be that of a decent starter, at worst, a pretty good backup. B-

Ed Davis (12 gp, 19.2 mpg, 5.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg): A defensive leaper with a nose for the ball who will undoubtedly improve as he gains muscle and understands the nuances of rebounding at the professional level. His help defense, athleticism, reach, and inclination towards playing both ends in the paint is what’s going to keep him in the league, and we’ve already seen glimpses of all of the above. At the same time, he’s been shoved off the block on many an occasion and has sometimes looked out of place, mostly due to his lack of strength. The post-game is raw but there’s enough there to work with, same with the jumper – he’s acknowledged that its’ a weakness and he’s working hard at it. C+

Julian Wright (17 gp, 12.3 mpg, 3.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg): Not much to say for these final two. Wright’s already proven that he can have a defensive impact off the bench, what’s gone unnoticed is that he’s also good running two-man situations late in the clock. An underrated passer, Wright at least deserves to be in the tail end of the rotation and be playing a lot more against high-caliber wings, especially when DeRozan and Weems are having trouble containing. B+

Joe Dorsey (15 gp, 11.3 mpg, 3.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg): When he has played, he hasn’t been terrible. He’s no Reggie Evans, but his effort needs to be commended. Too bad he’s two inches too short and missing one post-move or jumper to be in the rotation. Dorsey’s a decent find for a 12th man, certainly better than Patrick O’Bryant. C+

To Top