Flying Low, Shooting High: 2 Backup Point Guards Of Note

Golden State Warriors point guard Jarrett Jack

Not every team has a two-time MVP to rest all their potential success on (strong emphasis on potential). Most teams have to rely on an appropriately strong market of point guards—it is the age of the Rondos, the CP3s, and the Roses—to get things done. Few teams have had the fortune of last year’s Bulls, who had Rose starting, a usually competent Watson at backup, or John Lucas III to round out a strong point triumvirate.

Golden State Warriors point guard Jarrett Jack
Golden State Warriors point guard Jarrett Jack passes during the second quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center Anthony Gruppuso USA Today Sports

Despite their lack of success, the Toronto Raptors have a formidable point guard squad, even if just on paper. Kyle Lowry certainly has the skill set to be a franchise guard, even if nagging injuries and a habit to not pass the ball have grounded him. The Raptors have called him the point guard of their future. Just like the 2011-2012 Chicago Bulls, the Raptors also have John Lucas III, who has been a decent acquisition, and only one of three players that doesn’t seem to be hurting them in the +/- category. But inspired play, as of late, seems to suggest that Jose Calderon might be the team’s best option, even though he’s no longer a spring chicken.

When it comes to numbers, Jose Calderon is at an otherworldly 7.5 APG per 28.8 minutes. That puts him at seventh-best in the league, but would be tied with Greivis Vasquez (more on his next week) for third at 12.5 APG, if his numbers were adjusted for 48 minutes. He’s also averaging 10.6 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and is shooting 45.5 % from the field, 44.4% from the 3-point territory, and 88.4 % from the charity stripe. If his PTs/REBs/ASTs were adjusted for 48 minutes, which is likely considering that Kyle might not be around for much longer, he’d be averaging 17.6 PPG, 12.5 APG, and more than 4.3 RPG. Numbers that even Steve Nash would be jealous of currently.

Another backup point guard who is playing at an excellent clip is Golden State’s Jarrett Jack, who funny enough, also once played for Toronto. Though his best year was with NOH last year, he is putting up solid numbers (12.0 PPG, 5.2 APG, 3.3 RPG, on 49.2% FG shooting, 42.3 % from the arc, and 87% in freebies—), and kept the Warriors in the game against the Lakers last Saturday. At 29-years-old, he also should have a good two, three years playing at this sort of level.

Unlike Calderon, Jack is also playing for a squad with a winning record. Though Stephen Curry, who he steps in for, might be the central reason why they sit at fifth in the Western Conference, Jack consistently subs in to maintain a high-level of play for the Warriors.

author avatar
Bogar Alonso
Bogar Alonso is a dedicated student of the hardwood, soccer pitch, boxing ring, and tennis court. He is a regular NBA contributor to XN Sports. His work, involving more than just sports, has appeared on The Creators Project, A&E Networks, XXL Magazine, and others. Follow Bogar on Twitter @blacktiles