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Welcome to pick-and-roll basketball, Andre Drummond

Pardeep Toor is (like Dan and I) a failed MLiver. He’s also a displaced Canadian and huge Toronto Raptors fan who now also follows the Pistons due to his settling in Michigan. As someone who is thoroughly familiar with Jose Calderon (Calderon is the second longest-tenured Raptor of all time, trailing only Flint native Morris Peterson), he agreed to give some thoughts on how Calderon helps the Pistons. — P.H.

Andre Drummond may not realize it yet but his basketball career is about to transform for the better. No longer will he feed off the scraps of missed layups and ill-advised long jumpers from the likes of Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, Jeremy Lamb, Brandon Knight, Will Bynum and Rodney Stuckey. Rather than focusing on side-stepping frantic guards in the paint as they crash into the rim void of the instinct to pass, Drummond is about to be the focal point of a calculated and lethal offensive set — the Jose Calderon pick-and-roll.

Calderon’s primary pick-and-roll partners in Toronto this season were Amir Johnson and Ed Davis, who like Drummond, are not threats to fade for a long jumper off of a set at the top of the key. Johnson is shooting just 35 percent in the area outside the paint and inside the 3-point line while Ed Davis is connecting at a 43 percent rate. Davis and Johnson have a single move in the pick-and-roll — dive to the basket, catch and finish.

Calderon’s shooting ability, 52 percent from above the free-throw line and 46 percent from 3-point territory at the top of the arc, forces defenders to fight over the screen and often attracts an aggressive hedge but that only further encourages Calderon to make the pass to the open man.

Calderon is averaging just one more shot attempt than he is assists this season because he meticulously calculates each offensive possession, runs the offense with his head up and is always looking to pass. He’s patient with the pick-and-roll, allowing the bigs time to cut after setting the pick and forcing the defense to react to the play rather than bailing out early or crashing to the rim in search of a foul — all fundamental but sometimes obscure skills in the NBA.

The most impressive Calderon skillset is his ability to utilize the pick-and-roll multiple times in a single possession as he has the rare talent to reset the offense as opposed to forcing a bad shot or an awkward isolation situation for either himself or, worse now, for Stuckey.

Drummond should be an unstoppable force playing alongside Calderon as long as he continues his commitment to diving, and better yet crashing to the rim, on the pick-and-roll. He’s guaranteed to inflate his offensive numbers by being fed the ball on the move at optimal angles, positions and trajectories as Calderon will utilize him in situations where others have previously ignored or underused his mammoth presence. For the first time since the Chauncey Billups-era, the Pistons will get easy baskets off an offensive set and hopefully for the sake of Drummond’s development, it lasts more than half a season.

7 Comments

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    Jan 31, 20133:58 pm
    by Prince traded for Calderon - Page 3

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  • Jan 31, 20134:20 pm
    by Ryank

    Reply

    Lets hope Drummond can do for Calderon on defense what Calderon can do for Drummond on offense.  In a point guard dominated league, giving up a basket for everyone you get is not a winning strategy.  If Drummond behind him allows him to pressure his man defensively more, it might be Calderon showing some appreciation.

  • Jan 31, 20134:33 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    Agreed with everything, especially the last sentence. To me, as happy as I am with this trade, I will be equally upset if we don’t resign Calderon. 

    When you have a giant need for a true PG, along with one of the best pick/roll Centers in the league…and you acquire one of the best pick roll true PGs in the league still in his prime, you don’t just rent him for half a season and move on. 

    Especially when you have $35 mil in capspace. Even if he costs 7-8 mil/yr to resign, thats only a fraction of your space, and given how important he is going to be to this teams success (imo) thats a small price to pay, and I see absolutely no reason to NOT resign him. At the very least, you can always trade him, as PGs like him will always be in demand. As long as its not an outrageous contract, and unless he is a complete mismatch here, you have to resign him.

    • Jan 31, 20135:45 pm
      by Big Rick

      Reply

      Yes! Looks like we’re on the same page. Been on the Calderon train for some time now. I remember posting here about a month ago my wish list for point guards and JC was on the top of the list. I don’t expect miracles and to suddenly become a playoff team overnight. But Calderon has the much needed skillset that we were lacking and we have quite a few pieces that have potential to benefit greatly from his acquisition. It makes since to keep him for the long haul regardless of any other moves we make with exception of getting CP3 during free agency, seems like no-brainer.

      With that being said I haven’t been this excited about a trade since we acquired SHEED in the 03-04 season, and we all know how that turned out. I remember playing NBA 2k at the time it was either 2002 or 2003 version and I would always play the role of a homer and select the Detroit Pistons. I would do the fantasy draft and the team I constructed had Rasheed, Big Ben, and Gerald Wallace as my front line. I called that lineup WWW3. So later that year when we actually traded for Sheed I was ECSTATIC!
      This isn’t on the same level from 04, but it’s close to that feeling because like Partick implied this is the best PG we’ve had since Chauncey.

      Now hopefully the debates about Knight being a PG/SG will be put to rest…. somewhat. lol 

      We have a point guard now. FINALLY!!!

      • Jan 31, 20137:30 pm
        by Mark

        Reply

        I’m with you. I haven’t been this excited since the Sheed trade either. This trade won’t bring us a championship this year, but I didn’t think the Sheed trade would in 04 either. I just knew Sheed was going to fit perfect and be super fun to watch. Thats exactly how I feel with this trade. Whatever happens beyond that is gravy, but I sense this team is going to be really fun to watch on offense. And the fact that Frank has instilled a pretty solid defense already (top 10 in most areas), we could be a pretty good team if we get our offense going on the same level as our defense. 

        I think Calderon can help us get there. 

  • Jan 31, 20136:29 pm
    by Mr.BlockedShot

    Reply

    Couldn’t be more excited about Calderon. Finally. after waiting for years in vain, we’re going to have a real pass-first PG, who can assist, shoot and take care of the ball. I was really tired of our awful passing with so many silly turnovers game after game. That was killing us.  I think he’s going to impact the team and make his teammates a lot better, specially inside guys. Can’t wait for his first minutes with the team. Anybody knows wether he going to play tomorrow?

  • Jan 31, 20137:57 pm
    by ZekeKhaseli

    Reply

    All eyes on the little spaniard

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