Maybe because I was at home watching on the couch and could actually double and triple and quadruple check what had just happened instead of being at the arena and simply going: ďDid that just happen?Ē Ė but that might have been the worst game Iíve ever seen Jose Calderon play.
Yes, Deron Williams is outstanding. And yes he was rested and it was obvious from the tip he had some juice in his legs. Any NBA player is dangerous when they feel fresh, just because I donít think it happens very often. So Williams has been off for a week after leaving Utahís road trip early because his daughter was having some health issues and he was obviously chomping at the bit.
That said, Calderon was terrible. Against Phoenix I thought he did a pretty good job containing Nash and one thing he did well was jam him early Ė make sure he got right on top of Nash as soon as he had the ball so the he couldnít gather speed in the neutral zone, as it were, and hit the frontcourt with momentum. There was none of that last night.
There were too many blow-bys to count but one that stood out in the second half makes the point: Hedo Turkoglu misses the second free throw and Williams catches the outlet in stride around his own three-point line and turns on the jets. Meanwhile Calderon had been standing roughly around centre with Turkoglu on the line and his first move on the miss is to drop back. He keeps dropping back. And back. Williams is at top speed by the time Calderon tries to offer any resistance, and this is when heís standing somewhere around the elbow. Needless to say Williams hardly notices and makes the easy layup. To me the obvious move is to cover Williams when Turkoglu is on the line. Donít let him catch that first pass and if he does turn him early and if you do get beat you have 50 feet to recover and try and turn him again, plus your teammates can recognize youíve been beat and can help. But standing passively 15 feet from the hoop and waiting for a world-class player to make a move when heís got 60 feet to make up his mind is not going to work out in your favour. I honestly canít believe it happened.