(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)