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Saturday, December 20, 2014

2013 Report Card: Tyson Chandler


Season Age Tm G MP PER TS% ORB% DRB% BLK%
2010-11 28 DAL 74 2059 18.4 0.697 12.2 26.6 3
2011-12 29 NYK 62 2061 18.7 0.708 11.8 22.7 3.4
2012-13 30 NYK 66 2164 18.9 0.671 14.1 24.3 3
Career 790 22508 16.1 0.615 12.8 24.1 3.7

(Table from basketball-reference.com)

Jonathan already said much of what needed to be said about Chandler’s importance to the Knicks earlier this week. Chandler’s 2013 was what we have come to think of as pretty darn Chandler-y. His past three regular seasons, one in Dallas and two in New York, all of which have seen him exceed 2000 minutes played, are nearly identical. Rock-solid-to-excellent production in practically every category. Always an excellent finisher, Chandler rarely misses inside his admittedly modest range. His tap outs on offensive rebounds are now officially “a thing” that others imitate. Say what you will about his playoff performance, the Knicks are not a 2 seed without Chandler on his A game.

I typically pay little attention to total minutes played, but in this case it’s worth looking at how his minutes were managed in Dallas versus in New York. He played fewer total minutes over 74 games in Dallas than in his two seasons in New York, where he’s never played even 70 games. (The young) Brendan Haywood and (somewhat in shape) DeSagana Diop certainly kept his minutes modest. Over his career it seems clear that all work and no rest makes Tyson a dull center come springtime. It wasn’t just 2013. His playoff numbers are generally uninspiring. And, it’s not all about health and conditioning either. As efficient as Chandler is, he is quite limited offensively, which hurts the Knicks against better defenses unless the floor is perfectly spaced around him.

In terms of assessing Chandler’s 2013, a lot of it comes down to how you weight the end of the regular season and the playoffs. Or put another way, given the broad sweep of his career, how much is on him for not being better in the playoffs versus New York for its inability to surround him with better backups? In fairness to the front office, I thought acquiring Camby was solid thinking that just didn’t work out. I also don’t see why Chandler can’t develop a 15-foot jumper (that he’s willing to use).

Grades (5 point scale):
Offense: 4
(uber-efficient; with a 15-foot jumper he’d be Garnett-like)
Defense: 5
(he’s still one of the 3-4 best defensive bigs in the game; he covers up a lot of poor perimeter defense)
Teamwork: 5
(he tries to hold people accountable on D, and was doing that by himself basically until KMart)
Rootability: 3.5 
(closest player to Starks in New York in a long time, but boy has he come up small in some big moments)
Performance/Expectations: 4
(we might want more but its hard to expect more)
Final Grade: B
(Fantastic work all semester, but then got sloppy after spring break and lost the A on the final exam)

26 comments on “2013 Report Card: Tyson Chandler

  1. thenamestsam

    For me both the performance/expectations and defense grades are too high here. Chandler just wasn’t that good on defense for a lot of the season. Some of it probably had to do with the minutes load but a lot of nights he just looked sluggish and he didn’t have nearly the same impact that he did the year before. That intensity that carried the Knicks to a Top 5 defensive rating in 11-12 just wasn’t there on a night to night basis and if you’re the defensive leader of the team you have to take a good share of the blame when a Top 5 defensive team that seemingly strengthened its other defensive personnel prior to the season slips to 18th overall in defense.

    His efficiency on offense was amazing (though we can and have debated the value of that) and his tip outs are a work of art (though as Jon Abbey repeatedly pointed out other teams did seem to be hipping to the strategy by the end of the year), but I can’t give him higher than a 3.5 for defense and a 2 for performance/expectations. I think we have to expect more from the defense as a whole and Chandler specifically if this team wants to be a real contender.

  2. er

    Nice piece, but i definitely think you were a bit generous here. I think your “rootability” (I hate that Knick fan phrase) rating kinda explains your bias. Chandler was more mediocre and bad than he was excellent last year.

    On offense you cannot give him a 4 because he makes layups and dunks. Hes 7’1 he better. Now i give you that he runs a nice pnr game with ray ray and is a tap out artist so i may go with 3.5 max here.

    He was Definitely not a 5 on D last year. There were way too many games were he did not defend the paint and thoroughly got dominated by Hibbert in the playoffs this year. Id go 3.5–>4 here with 4 being generous.

    I agree with teamwork and rootability

    performance/expectations, i totaly agreee with thenamestam, 2

  3. prezs2reprsntme

    his DRTG went from 99 the yr before to 104 now. his DWS dropped nearly a point. His opp FG% when they were within 5 feet of him was 45.7%, which ranks 28th out of 52 centers.

    I realize that last number accounts pretty much only for drives toward him and post ups, and not his great help defense, but there were way more times this year where his help defense was not on point, and he would miss a rotation, a switch, or simply ballwatch when he needed to be helping…can’t find a quantification for that, but it was def worse as the year went on, and the injuries piled up.

    To me, this is a case where the eye test and numbers of all sorts (not really a win shares guy/berri guy) agree for the most part. He was definitely a net + for the knicks defensively, but compared to the previous year? Not nearly as good, and certainly not a top 4 def center this year in al eague where Asik, Noah, Gasol, Garnett, Duncan, and Hibbert, among others, were *clearly* better on that end.

    No doubt all the team USA and the games last year and this year and the high minutes with no real backup were a cause of it…at least i hope so. Hopefully he doesnt fall off a cliff jermaine oneal style, we need the guy.

  4. prezs2reprsntme

    so what im saying is, if the 5 on defense is for his net effect on the knicks then by all means give him a 5…but its not “as good” a 5 as the year before, by a large margin.

  5. thenamestsam

    prezs2reprsntme:

    To me, this is a case where the eye test and numbers of all sorts (not really a win shares guy/berri guy) agree for the most part. He was definitely a net + for the knicks defensively, but compared to the previous year? Not nearly as good, and certainly not a top 4 def center this year in al eague where Asik, Noah, Gasol, Garnett, Duncan, and Hibbert, among others, were *clearly* better on that end.

    Throw in Larry Sanders, Serge Ibaka, Al Horford, Taj Gibson(admittedly not a true center). I think Chandler was a lot closer to the 10th best defensive big in the league than the best last year.

  6. AvonBarksdale

    Def. way to generous he took a big step backward in terms of leadership and intangibles, he complained, he was lazy at times and i know people can get injured and be sick but the additional focus could help to be preventative in some instances so while i can’t blame him for getting hurt and i realize the whole team was hurt at times i just think he wasn’t really as committed this past year and yes he needs to actually grab some rebounds for a put back instead of the swats out. Still have hope but i think he stays up all night editing his photos and is catching the lazy bug 2 games out of every 10 or something.

  7. AvonBarksdale

    i don’t even bother adding in the series against the pacers where he was obviously banged up and injured i can’t grade that it was a mess all around..but a 4 in the expectations/results area is ehhhh

  8. Jack Bauer

    ruruland:
    Chandler was the only guy on the team to throw teammates under the bus last season.

    — Agree
    Throwing teammates under the Bus : 5

  9. Brian Cronin

    so what im saying is, if the 5 on defense is for his net effect on the knicks then by all means give him a 5…but its not “as good” a 5 as the year before, by a large margin.

    It’s the same thing with, say, Citizen Kane getting the same 4 star rating as A Christmas Story. The rating can only go so high, you have to figure out yourself beyond “top score.” Some top scores are better than others.

  10. Jack Bauer

    Just read the current issue of SI where they rate Winners and Losers for the recent NBA free agency signings.

    Miami is listed as a Winner for signing injury prone, MIA center Greg Oden. This guy might play 20 games next year.

    New York is listed as a Loser for trading for Bargnani, and signing MWP & Udrih.

    Ridiculous. And the haters just keep on hating………Can’t wait to prove the “experts” wrong. This will be a very good and deep team next year.

  11. DRed

    I wouldn’t say Miami was a winner in the offseason, but signing Oden is a good move. If he’s hurt, you’ve still got a title contender, and if he’s healthy, the Heat could be really scary.

  12. Z-man

    Really enjoyed the Protecting Tyson Chandler thread. Bargnani is a great crucible for advanced stats-driven decision making. I’ll certainly be ready to eat some crow if Bargnani turns out to be as bad as some have predicted he will be. On the other hand, I will look forward to gloating if the change in scenery,role,teammates, etc. result in a positive change in his statistical game, i.e. better efficiency, better rebounding, etc.

    Or will he have a season that only muddles the issue even more?

    What’s it, 6 weeks until training camp?

  13. Z-man

    I do think that there is a trend away from the traditional “positions” used to categorize basketball players.

    Take Tim Duncan, for example. Is he a center, a power forward, or something in between? This is of special interest to me because the most common accolade I hear about Duncan is that he the “greatest power forward of all time.” But look at this 2006-07 breakdown from 82games.com:

    http://www.82games.com/0607/06SAS13C.HTM

    Duncan played more than double the minutes at C than at PF, and was pretty much great at both. Yet the season before, it was the reverse!

    http://www.82games.com/0506/05SAS13C.HTM

    The year before that, the C-PF split was nearly equal!

    http://www.82games.com/04SAS14C.HTM

    I have myself noticed that Duncan often starts the game at PF with a “token” C on the floor, then switches to the C position at some point, depending on the opponent. On offense, he often operates in the high and low-post and takes the 15-18 footer, and is a rim-protector on D, very similar to the way Ewing played. To me, he has always been more of a C than a PF. At the end of the day, I think he just transcends the narrow “position” labels, the way some all-time great players do. Heck, LeBron seems to change positions nearly every play!

    So the argument about Bargnani (hardly an all-time great!) is even more complicated when we try to define him by narrow position labels and analyze his stats accordingly. Is he a terrible C but a pretty good something else, e.g stretch 4? Can he play a different role on O than on D? Does his poor rebounding make it impossible for him to be a solid front-7 rotation player? Will his rebounding and efficiency improve with better teammates/role? Should make for good debate fodder all season!

  14. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Z-man: Is he a terrible C but a pretty good something else, e.g stretch 4?

    Maybe the question is whether stretch 4s are actually more valuable to a team than a 4 who does “traditional” jobs like low post scoring (high efficiency) and rebounding (possession control).

    My question is why Bargnani cannot play SG. I’ve watched all the videos I can find on Youtube. He is fast and has a great first step (this is, partially, how he arrives at his league-average TS%). Drives really well from the 3-point line (when he chooses to). Why can’t he stretch out his long arms on a shorter opponent (an SG) and force him into help defenders? Why are 7-footers only allowed on the floor in pairs?

  15. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Jack Bauer:
    Just read the current issue of SI where they rate Winners and Losers for the recent NBA free agency signings.

    Miami is listed as a Winner for signing injury prone, MIA center Greg Oden. This guy might play 20 games next year.

    New York is listed as a Loser for trading for Bargnani, and signing MWP & Udrih.

    Ridiculous. And the haters just keep on hating………Can’t wait to prove the “experts” wrong. This will be a very good and deep team next year.

    If Oden is healthy, that might be a 70-win team. If he plays even half of their games, they are going to win a lot of basketball.

    If Bargnani is healthy, the Knicks might lose 40 games. If he plays even half of their games, they are going to lose a lot of basketball.

  16. Brian Cronin

    Or will he have a season that only muddles the issue even more?

    I am about 99% sure that it will be this one. These things always seem to go that way, don’t they? It seems both sides can always claim “victory.”

  17. Jack Bauer

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: If Oden is healthy, that might be a 70-win team. If he plays even half of their games, they are going to win a lot of basketball.

    If Bargnani is healthy, the Knicks might lose 40 games. If he plays even half of their games, they are going to lose a lot of basketball.

    This just in -They are winning a lot of games with or without Greg Oden

    I coud be wrong, but you seem really down on Bargnani

  18. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Maybe the question is whether stretch 4s are actually more valuable to a team than a 4 who does “traditional” jobs like low post scoring (high efficiency) and rebounding (possession control).

    My question is why Bargnani cannot play SG. I’ve watched all the videos I can find on Youtube. He is fast and has a great first step (this is, partially, how he arrives at his league-average TS%). Drives really well from the 3-point line (when he chooses to). Why can’t he stretch out his long arms on a shorter opponent (an SG) and force him into help defenders? Why are 7-footers only allowed on the floor in pairs?

    I will give a serious answer to what I am assuming is a serious question. You could try it, but with this team, whatever issues Bargnani has at the 5, he would have even more (but different) issues at the 2. On D, he is not quick enough to stay in front of opposing 2’s. On O, the 2 is usually a secondary ball-handler to the PG.

    Doesn’t have to be that way, with LeBron as your SF, you can have anyone you want at SG, e.g. Mike Miller.

    So, given that Melo is not as multi-dimtnsional as LeBron, Bargnain will need to play some kind of forward, something between a 3 and 4, with maybe a spot-minute flyere at the 5 vs. certain teams. Maybe you could run a lineup of Chandler-Melo-MWP-Bargnani-any PG out there and maybe in that lineup Bargnani is technically the SG. But since each position has varied demands, again, the position label isn’t what is important. It is more, “Who does what?”

  19. Z-man

    On the position front, I decided to screen the last 10 NBA seasons for prominent quintessential stretch 4’s, i.e. tall guys who probably couldn’t guard 2’s (6’10 or taller) and who shot 3 or more 3’s per 36 but rebounded less than 7 per 36. The sort yields an interesting list of comparables seems like a good one for Bargnani. The most prominent names are Gallinari, Lewis, Turkoglu, Bonner, Novak, Radmanovic, Tim Thomas, Van Horn, and yikes, Toni Kukoc (washed up in Milwaukee) and Rasheed Wallace (2 bad years!)

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=single&type=per_minute&per_minute_base=36&lg_id=NBA&is_playoffs=N&year_min=2004&year_max=&franch_id=&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=0&age_max=99&height_min=82&height_max=99&birth_country_is=Y&birth_country=&is_active=&is_hof=&is_as=&as_comp=gt&as_val=&pos_is_g=Y&pos_is_gf=Y&pos_is_f=Y&pos_is_fg=Y&pos_is_fc=Y&pos_is_c=Y&pos_is_cf=Y&qual=&c1stat=fg3a_per_mp&c1comp=gt&c1val=3&c2stat=mp&c2comp=gt&c2val=1000&c3stat=trb_per_mp&c3comp=lt&c3val=7&c4stat=g&c4comp=gt&c4val=50&c5stat=&c5comp=gt&c6mult=1.0&c6stat=&order_by=ws_per_48

    Bargnani’s seasons rank pretty low by WS48. However, when sorted by TRB/36, he is in the middle of the pack (Novak is, predictably, rock bottom.). It appears that the two most prominent reason for Bargnani being low on the list are, get this, 3pt attempts (his are generally lower that his comparables, even in years where his % was high) steals/36 (Bargnani goes to the very bottom of the list) and assists/36 (Turkoglu jumps to the top of the list). Bargnani jumps to the top of the list when sorted by blocks/36 and does pretty well by FT/36. TO’s are neutral

    So the issue with Bargnani as a stretch 4 may not be that he doesn’t rebound enough, but that he takes too many 2’s and doesn’t pass or steal enough. Will that change when he plays off of Melo, JR and Chandler? Can he be as good as Gallo, or “vintage” Rashard Lewis and Turkoglu?

  20. ruruland

    Nice post. Turkoglu and Lewis were pretty bad defensively on the wing. Gallo is a solid defender.

    I could see AB being a version of those guys but with the ability to defend the post. He’ll probably never reach Lewis’ best years.

    However, I really doubt the Knicks will have AB using 40 percent of his possessions in the post or isolating like he was in Toronto — that’s where the majority of those mid-range 2-pointers come from.

  21. massive

    There’s no way Bargnani plays more than 4 minutes a game at C. For one, the Knicks clearly don’t view him as one since they signed Jeremy Tyler, Kenyon Martin, and they’re still looking for another guy to sign to play the 5. The Knicks likely view Bargnani as a 3-4 hybrid who will play between Melo/MWP and Chandler/Martin. I really feel like adding Bargnani is going to do a lot for this offense if he just plays the Ronnie Brewer role from early in the season last year. Starting him with Shump and Melo gives us more guys that can attack off the dribble and shoot 3s at bare minimum a respectable rate (34%+). Defensively, I only worry about Melo in a Felton/Shump/Melo/AB/Chandler line up because Melo has a tendency to get too flat footed due to overplaying the drive. This leads to open 3 pointers on what should be contested shots. Those can be back breaking in a close game.

    It’s interesting that our only double digit a game rebound guy was Chandler and we still were one of the best defensive rebounding teams in the league. This leads me to believe that AB’s poor rebounding won’t hurt the team, especially when you consider that it’s an upgrade over what Novak and Copeland gave us last year. If by some miracle, AB brings his scoring efficiency up to where Copeland had his, that could be the difference between like -4 WP and +4 WP. I’m gonna say he does surprise the world (Canada especially) like Memphis Z.Bo did when he first got thereand we win 55 games this season.

  22. Brian Cronin

    I think Bargs might get some time at the 5 to draw out centers they want to draw out of the paint, sort of like what they did with Cope. Tyler’s signing doesn’t really mean anything. He’s a back of the bench guy. The fact that K-Mart is the only real back-up center strikes me as them allowing for the opportunity of either Bargs or STAT to get 5 minutes. I think it will depend, though, on Bargs showing something with the minutes they give him.

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