All things considered, and given their season-long struggles, a 2-2 homestand is an accomplishment worth celebrating.

In the big picture, it's not going to mean much when Toronto's lost season is finally put to rest, but quality wins to begin and end this four-game stretch showed how much improvement the Raptors have made.

More inroads must be forged and more players have to take their game to another level, but at least there's evidence of growth and fewer stretches of bad basketball.

And even when the predictable slide surfaced, their was resilience and a willingness to not close out a game, which hasn't been seen often this year.

Tuesday night against New Orleans, Jose Calderon was brilliant in leading Toronto to its 96-90 win, a game that saw Toronto's point guard win the game within the game against Chris Paul.

Calderon's floor game was clinical, his work ethic exemplary and his leadership contagious.

He wasn't alone, but no way Raptors overcome a fourth-quarter Hornets uprising without Calderon's presence.

The point of attack, one of Toronto's weaknesses on defence, wasn't as problematic as Calderon did a solid job on screen and rolls.

"It wasn't just me,'' Calderon said inside a busy Raptors locker room as players scurried to catch a bus ride to the airport, where the team's London-bound charter was set to wing what seemed like the entire organization to England.

"My teammates were there to help on the backside. Team defence is important and we did a good job."

What Calderon also did well was look to score, something he isn't accustomed because his natural instinct is to look for others.

"I try to play basketball the same way, every game, against every opponent,'' Calderon said. "Maybe (against New Orleans) I was more aggressive. Sometimes, I guess, I have to be selfish, but we all made shots."

All their shortcomings and glaring deficiencies notwithstanding, when the Raptors are sharing the ball and are making that extra pass, history has shown that they can be competitive with any team.