PG Jose Calderon starts for Knicks

NEW YORK -- Knicks point guard Jose Calderon made his season debut Saturday night in a 91-83 win against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Calderon, who had missed the Knicks' first 13 games with a calf strain, started at point guard Saturday and tallied three points and three assists in 21 minutes.

"Jose was good tonight," Knicks coach Derek Fisher said. "He looked like he was able to find some comfort level and you could tell he was easing his way into being aggressive out there. Those were 20, 21 good minutes."

Calderon's calf felt "good" after his first game action since Oct. 20.

"No pulling at all. Nothing to be worried about so that's the good news," he said.

Calderon should help the Knicks on the offensive end. He hit 44.9 percent of his 3-point attempts last season, so opposing defenses likely will have to pay attention to the 33-year-old veteran.

The Knicks' biggest issue of late has been on defense, where they rank 28th in points allowed per possession. Calderon, acquired in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks in June, is not known as a strong defender.

Fisher, however, is hoping Calderon can help the Knicks' ball movement and provide some leadership for a team that is struggling.

"He's just another kind of quarterback guy that can facilitate plays for us ... from a teamwork standpoint, from a chemistry standpoint, he's a guy that kind of bonds people together," Fisher said.

In other injury news, Andrea Bargnani was out against Philadelphia with a calf injury. Bargnani has missed the Knicks' first 14 games with a hamstring injury. He was progressing toward a return but strained his calf during Friday's practice. There is no timetable for his return.