The Guru seemed stunned over the weekend when he asked me to guess who had the best assist-to-turnover ratio in basketball, and I was fortunate enough to have read John Hollinger enough recently to know who it was within seconds.
Gilbert Arenas knows the answer as well, but apparently he isn't impressed. From his blog:
On the East side, I don’t know if there were any big snubs. I mean, some people wanted Jose Calderon. Jose Calderon? Who? Come on man, this is All-Star, people. When I’ve seen some of the names that are being thrown around on the ticker as snubs, it’s killing me. I understand Calderon has the best assist-turnover ratio in the league, but you know what’s funny? All back-up point guards have the best assist-turnover ratios. Screw it, Kevin Ollie should be an All-Star then! For like five or six years, Ollie was No. 1 in assist-turnover ratio!
I’ve been loving the way he’s been playing for the last two years. When he first came into the league he was a little timid and scared to shoot the ball, but he’s taking over that team. But All-Star? He’s about 20 years away from being an All-Star.
Though an admitted Arenas booster, I can't help but be a tad bummed by this analysis.
Whether or not Calderon should or should not be an All-Star remains up for discussion. But assessing the guy the way Arenas did shouldn't be part of that discussion.
This 'back-up' has started 35 of the 49 games in which he has played, and he averages 31.7 minutes per game. That assist-to-turnover ratio of 5.56-to-1 comes from the fact that he averages 8.9 assists and 1.6 turnovers per game. Nobody else in basketball has a ratio so high as 4.5-to-1. The 8.9 assists per game put him in fifth in the league, behind only Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Jason Kidd and Deron Williams, three of whom play out West.
In case that wasn't enough, Calderon's efficiency shooting the basketball is similar to his efficiency passing it, as he shoots 53.3 percent from the field, 46.1 percent from deep and 92.1 percent from the foul line. With Calderon starting, the Raps are 20-15. When that isn't the case, they are just 7-7.
Maybe he isn't an All-Star, but Jose Calderon is most certainly an impact player. Here's guessing he makes the squad within two seasons. Gil might want to check his numbers next time.