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Tyronn Lue on Jose Calderon: “He held the fort down.”

Lue is singing the veteran’s praises.

NBA: Preseason-Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Calderon’s 23 starts this season are more than most thought he would have with the Cavaliers. But due to Isaiah Thomas’ delayed return from his hip injury and Derrick Rose’s injuries, Calderon was pressed into action. And Tyronn Lue is happy with what the Cavs got from the 36 year old.

“He held the fort down,” said Lue, per “He did a great job of just being professional, being a veteran, making shots, running the team, taking care of the basketball and just being ready when he’s called upon. He’s just been great for us.”

With Thomas now back, and expected to start on Saturday, Calderon is headed back to the bench, although he will likely start text Friday in Indiana on the second half of a back-to-back. And if Rose returns soon, he could go back to not playing at all. But Calderon is happy with what he’s brought to the Cavs.

“It does feel good to look back and see the team’s success while I was starting,” Calderon told “I’m not going to lie and say you don’t hear some of the things that are said. I knew I could still play and I could contribute. I went out there and played against every point guard, I held my own and helped us win.”

To date, the Cavs’ starting lineup with Calderon is outscoring teams by 6.5 points per 100 possession, per basketball-reference. For the year, Calderon is averaging 4.2 points and 2.2 assists in 18 minutes per game.