Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thunder 95, Knicks 94

Oklahoma City Thunder 95 Final
Recap | Box Score
94 New York Knicks
Kurt Thomas, PF 5 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +2

Hit a jumper, goad Kendrick Perkins into making a fool of himself – terrific. Perfect. Throw in a cheeseburger and few wafers of methadone, that’s a hell of a night.

Iman Shumpert, SF 27 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -11

Watching Shumpert dribble in transition is sadder than a fat dog in a stroller. When he’s pulling the string off his jumper – all three vertical inches of it – it’s downright tragic. Not much of merit in this one; save for Sefelosha, there were no advantageous match-ups on D, though he did manage to nuisance Westbrook into deferring on a couple of occassions. Meanwhile his ability to orchestrate something — anything — from the corner continues to be nonexistent.

Tyson Chandler, C 35 MIN | 3-4 FG | 3-3 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 9 PTS | -6

Pedestrian, perhaps, though his absence late in the fourth registers as far more concerning. Some have suggested Chandler is nursing some kind of gimp, and hasn’t really been right for a few weeks now. Others chalk his too-late appearance to errant strategy on the part of Woodson, who may or may not have sought to match the Thunder’s small ball in kind. Judging by the three thunderous throw-downs (legs, check) and traffic-defying boards (surgically attached meat mittens that aren’t really hands, check), I’m more inclined to believe the latter…. Oh Jesus, is Paula Deen still over there? So creepy. She doesn’t even blink! What should I do, just stare at her? Is that the best thing to do? I feel like if I leave she’ll expose her fangs and hunt me down like those ghosts in Mario… Ugh.

Raymond Felton, PG 38 MIN | 6-16 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 16 PTS | +2

When Russell Westbrook rolled his ankle towards the end of the first after tattooing us for 15 fast ones, I prayed MSG staff thought ahead to put a moonwalk or bungee chord in the visitors locker room – anything to keep the sonofabitch distracted. Turns out the tweak did that on its own; Russ never again displayed the same aplomb, never again buried the Knicks in transition on consecutive possessions, and generally fell into the one trap in which we’d hoped he’d ensnare himself: awful pull-up jumpers.

As for Felton himself, stop me if you’ve heard this one before: too many costly turnovers, too many contested – though sometimes necessary – long jumpers, and not enough non-transition penetration. Part of that has to do with the absurd minutes: 75 in two days is a lot for anyone, and with Prigs mysteriously glued to the bench, Felton has little recourse. At this rate, Felton’s going to be the next one to evaporate trying to catch an outlet pass.

James White, SG 12 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -5

Prior to the game, the Vegas over/under on James white points was 2.5 (-150). Being the man of science that I am, I naturally put my house down as collateral on the under. I am now typing this from my car, which is freezing cold because I have no money in my bank account for gas.

Kenyon Martin, PF 17 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -1

I recorded five fouls in 20 minutes during my rec league game last week and almost strangled the ref with his own whistle, so it was nice to see Kenyon keep his composure chalking six in a little over 17. He made the most of it, too: a couple impressive finishes at the rim, some hard (but clean) fouls that helped briefly destabilize Durant. This may be what we get out of him the rest of the way, and that’s OK, I suppose. But it’d be nice to see what he could do with a little more burn. As in, say, starting over Kurt Thomas. Just an example.

Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 29 MIN | 5-16 FG | 6-6 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +6

For a guy who’s navigated a Homeric tome of Western gauntlets, STAT had some noticeable nerves about him – just seemed way too shaky early on. But then he sent Serge Ibaka to bleed out on the sidelines, and from thereon forward provided some of the game’s most memorable moments.

He had a bit of trouble early in the second half maneuvering amongst the Thunder’s canopy of limbs, though he managed to make himself useful on the offensive glass. Then, at the end of the third, STAT went completely apeshit. It started innocently enough, with a deft baby hook over Ibaka in the paint. It got marginally more violent the next trip down, as Stat Griffen-flushed right into Ibaka’s eyes (Ibaka’s face is just a skull at this point). Then he took a charge (I’m assuming accidentally.) Finally, the icing: a chase-down block of Derek Fisher so explosive that Fisher’s corpse vapor set off the smoke alarms. He mysteriously disappeared from the plans altogether during the game’s waning moments, a development I’m assuming Woodson will address just as soon as he picks his eyeballs off the floor.

Steve Novak, SF 13 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -1

No one ever wants to hear, “Look, I’m not your father,” but Novak didn’t seem to hold it against Nick Collison. After missing his first shot (widen open) Steve-O drilled his second (hand down his throat) to help pull the Knicks within six early in the second. On his next attempt, Novak got KD to bite on a three, lifted as if intent on drawing contact, and just handed the ball to Sefelosha, who is both Swiss and decidedly not a Knick. Sadly, he only played sparingly down the stretch — yet another curio bullet about Woodson’s strange game resume.

Jason Kidd, PG 27 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +2

Jason Kidd has shaving scars older than most of the Thunder roster, which automatically makes any appearance an eggshell affair. The rotational strategy – and Russ’s aforementioned ankle tweak – was enough to keep Kidd from marking his most obvious mismatch. He had a few chances to further bury OKC during our second half mini-runs, but missed horribly, because that’s what Jason Kidd does these days. Still, for those ten rebounds we thank God, which is a thing Jason Kidd invented.

J.R. Smith, SG 36 MIN | 14-29 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 36 PTS | +7

Had Melo been healthy, we might’ve relied on J.R. to assume a 6-39 in exchange for keeping the Thunder core out deep into the Manhattan night. As it was, we were treated to a first half miniature of Wednesday’s schizo performance: a slew of early misses, followed by buckets on buckets on buckets and a legit halftime ballgame. J.R. wasn’t simply putting his hand in the cookie jar; he ate it, glass and all, and spit out the chocolate chips because he’s a fucking gangster.

Earl picked up right where he left off to start the second, blitzing the Thunder off dribble and catch alike, getting his hands in passing lanes – he was everywhere, his shot Sea World wet. Sadly, the mean came calling, cruel Cassandra that she is. It was totally predictable that the offense would grow stagnant and hero-centric down the stretch, and for that we really can’t blame His Clubness. Not even that awful final possession, which was so criminally lacking in creativity that not even J.R. could’ve drawn it up.

As I write this, J.R. is no doubt en route via Hummer, and also inside a Hummer, to some classy Midtown establishment, where he’ll regale new friends and lock down goddess digits with intrepid tales of bringing his team back and hitting a game-winning, buzzer beating bucket from the left baseline — his scarred comrades inundating him with hugs, love, and incredibly awkward white people dances with way too many crotch thrusts. And he won’t technically be lying.

Five Things We Saw

  1. If Miami’s transition offense is the Flying Death Machine, Oklahoma City’s might be the Flying Torture Condor; when it strikes, the pain is profound, prolonged, and seems to last an eternity, even when it’s happening so goddam fast. That looked to be precisely the program in the early going, with Durant and Westbrook keying an 8-0 blitz that could’ve easily choked us out. The Knicks did a much better job of cheating back and protecting the ball as the game wore on, however, eventually pulling almost even in transition points and actually winning the turnover battle.
  2. For once, the Knicks “switch first, second, third, and I’m going to cut myself” ethos paid some weirdly positive dividends, with both Durant and Westbrook falling to their own respective brand of temptation – Westbrook with over-dribbling at the top of the key and letting loose some bullshit, and Durant eating up the shot clock trying to back down smaller defenders. Each made some big time shots, for sure, but given the mismatches available (Tyson on Russ and James White – pants completely full of poop – on Durant), it could’ve been a hell of a lot worse.
  3. Melo’s mercurial persona and play aside, it’s obvious what his absence means in terms of not only offensive execution, but flow and consistency as well. Melo is the constant around which the rest of the bodies orbit; even when he’s camping out at the right elbow, his range of movement — devastating though it may be — is fixed enough to allow for proper spacing, even if that doesn’t always happen with the greatest of consistency. But when you’re forced to pivot your offense around J.R. Smith, whose pinballing about the court is made all the more problematic by the fact that he’s dribbling the ball most of the time, other guys have to react more on the fly. It’s the difference between jamming with an outstanding rhythm guitarist and a very good, very flawed jazz musician who’s just all over the place. Related: I quit guitar after one week.
  4. Kevin Martin and Reggie Jackson kind of killed us, and that is unfathomably depressing.
  5. This was mentioned briefly in the Tyson capsule, and was something picked up on pretty much wholesale, but it bears further mention: The decision to hold Tyson out until the last minute is one I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around. I won’t bother seeking out whether any of the beat writers managed to bludgeon and answer out of him, but I can’t believe Woodson’s explanation can amount to merely meeting small with small. The Thunder are not going to Serge Ibaka in crunch time, ever. Ever. Ever. And even if everyone in the joint knows who you’re going to (psychoitc clown back-tat guy), Chandler’s presence hints at the possibility of a late-game pick and roll where Amare’s — sad to say — lately hasn’t. I get going small in certain situations. This just wasn’t one of them.
  6. The Knicks didn’t need a perfect game tonight. They needed a near-perfect game from one player, and serviceable play from everyone else. And they damn near got exactly that. No shame in this one – not even a little bit. But shame and regret are two different things. Fact is, we could’ve stolen it; could’ve sealed it up nice and tight with one more bucket or a few less fouls. The what-if game never stopped a loss or sparked a win streak, I know. Unless, of course, the “what if” concerns a matter of strategy, and not just fortune. There were plenty of the former on this night, some of which Woodson has to address. We have one more at home (Saturday against the Yazz) before the West Coast road trip from Hell. Let’s make it count.

29 comments on “Thunder 95, Knicks 94

  1. BigBlueAL

    Sadly its getting to the point where once Woodson finally decides to start a normal frontcourt that I might rather have White starting at SG instead of Shump, thats how bad Shump is looking right now.

    Man that wouldve been one helluva game to have won tonight…

  2. Robtachi

    I really feel like the greatest obstacle holding the Knicks back from being a dominant threat to the rest of the league is Woodson. He is proving just as stubborn with these ridiculous lineups and starters as D’antoni was with his devotion to his system. I’ve given the guy tons of credit for the way he really seems to get through to certain guys in a manner no other coach has been able to, but the positives he brings in his emphasis to defense are totally negated by his lack of imagination on offense when you need a strategy for a very particular situation like tonight, or you need to create a good look off an inbounds. This is not the first time I have sat here after a loss thinking that despite whatever flaws in the games the players put out there, the Knicks still could have pulled out a win had Woodson looked at the situation in a more logical way than “ok, one last possession, let’s give it to the hot hand and ISO and see what happens.”

    8 seconds left and only needing one point to not lose is plenty of time to run something into the paint to either get a layup, a put-back off a miss, or a foul. The only way you don’t at least get to the line or have a more reasonable shot at winning the game is if some huge defensive stop happens like a clean block. But you take your chances with that, and not a ball-holding 7-second ISO ending in a smothered long two. Has he never before contemplated why certain shots are referred to as high and low percentage?

  3. Robtachi

    Robtachi:
    This is not the first time I have sat here after a loss thinking that despite whatever flaws in the games the players put out there, the Knicks still could have pulled out a win had Woodson looked at the situation in a more logical way than “ok, one last possession, let’s give it to the hot hand and ISO and see what happens.”

    And yet, had it been Melo out there, this could still be a defensible strategy. But the fact that it wasn’t, and he knew he wasn’t going to have him as that option (all game, in fact), makes it doubly perplexing that he still felt that was the right strategy.

    Maybe I know even less about basketball than the very little credit I already afford myself. I just could not understand for the life of me that last possession.

  4. nicos

    To me the issue wasn’t should we have Tyson or Amar’e out there, it was why don’t we have both of them out there on those late offensive possessions. The Knicks got nothing out of those four guard line-ups (and really, how much of an advantage are you going to have when two of those guards- Shump or Kidd can’t/won’t shoot or penetrate? I get that you don’t want Amar’e matched on Durant (or Martin/Sefolosha) but when you’ve been getting zero penetration (with 4 guards!) maybe it’d be nice to have multiple screeners in the game- especially when you’re a team that runs a ton of multiple screen sets. Make Durant guard Amar’e or have to keep Chandler off of the boards. The Knicks front court is their biggest strength but against both Miami and OKC Woodson let the opposing coach dictate who he was going to have on the floor. To be fair, those four guard line-ups actually defended pretty well tonight (even with Amar’e subbing for Chandler) so I can kind of see why Woodson stuck with it but in those last few possessions where he was switching offense/defense it was pretty clear they weren’t working at all offensively and he still stuck with them.

  5. nicos

    And on the last play if you know you’re running something for Smith, Chandler should be in to screen and/or crash the offensive boards- having Novak on the weak side really doesn’t help you at all when there are only seven seconds left in the game.

  6. Brian Cronin

    Another area where Woody is starting to seem like D’Antoni are his pissy replies to critiques. Woody’s response when asked why he didn’t have Chandler in there was this really condescending “did you seriously just ask me that idiotic question?” reaction before saying that he went small because oKC went small.

  7. yellowboy90

    nicos:
    To me the issue wasn’t should we have Tyson or Amar’e out there, it was why don’t we have both of them out there on those late offensive possessions.The Knicks got nothing out of those four guard line-ups (and really, how much of an advantage are you going to have when two of those guards- Shump or Kidd can’t/won’t shoot or penetrate?I get that you don’t want Amar’e matched on Durant (or Martin/Sefolosha) but when you’ve been getting zero penetration (with 4 guards!) maybe it’d be nice to have multiple screeners in the game- especially when you’re a team that runs a ton of multiple screen sets.Make Durant guard Amar’e or have to keep Chandler off of the boards.The Knicks front court is their biggest strength but against both Miami and OKC Woodson let the opposing coach dictate who he was going to have on the floor.To be fair, those four guard line-ups actually defended pretty well tonight (even with Amar’e subbing for Chandler) so I can kind of see why Woodson stuck with it but in those last few possessions where he was switching offense/defense it was pretty clear they weren’t working at all offensively and he still stuck with them.

    I think this applies to Miami as well although if Melo was out there against OKC it would have looked better but anyway. I think the key is to force Miami to match NY. Let Amar’e guard Battier or Martin/Selfalosa rarely will they try to iso Amar’e because the ball will be in Lebron/Wade or Durant/Westbrook hands. Let Amar’e beat down the smaller defensive player or make the smaller player try to guard the lob to Tyson off the PnR if they put the big on Amar’e. I think its is time to force teams to stay big and take their shooters off the floor.

  8. BigBlueAL

    “The Knicks front court is their biggest strength but against both Miami and OKC Woodson let the opposing coach dictate who he was going to have on the floor.”

    Problem is Woodson doesnt seem to recognize whats the team’s biggest strength right now. The front office in the off-season made moves to basically distance themselves from the D’Antoni Knicks by adding older players who arent suited to play an uptempo game and enough bigs to give Woodson a bunch of depth at PF/C that you would assume he would use.

    Yet Woodson starts the season by playing a system that looked exactly like a D’Antoni team (more out of necessity I assumed due to Amar’e being out). It worked great at first but eventually it got to a point where it was no longer feasible to play that way yet Woodson hasnt changed or he doesnt know how to change. I mean how in the world can you start the game with 3 guards who all cant shoot a lick?? Plus play 4 guard lineups when only 1 of them can shoot??

    I give Woodson credit for applying alot of D’Antoni’s principles on offense but right now he doesnt seem to know how to apply them properly and in the end when all else fails he reverts to running ISO’s which I have no problem with when its for Melo but not for JR. He is running some weird hybrid D’Antoni/ISO offense that just plain looks weird at times. I mean tonight he played lineups featuring 4 guards and rarely had 2 bigs in the game at the same time yet the team had only 10 assists for the entire game!!

    To be fair Scott Brooks also wasnt exactly busting out with Popovich plays for the Thunder tonight down the stretch lol.

  9. d-mar

    To me the most positive takeaway from last night’s game was the defense. Not many easy shots for OKC, no uncontested waltzes down the lane, no thunderous (no pun intended) dunks by Westbrook, Ibaka or Durant. STAT has really ramped up his defense, and last night Martin added toughness and intimidation (why not just start the guy for chrissakes?)

    BTW, was at the game, and even though they lost, felt like I got more than my money’s worth. Great effort by our boys I thought.

  10. Owen

    Seeing Martin put Durant on his back with a nice clean foul was pretty special. Meant to note that I was having serious Oakley/Mason flashbacks, but the server was at a bar around the corner watching the game last night.

    That last play was a joke. I mean JR has stuck two ridiculously difficult contested buzzer beaters this year. I get it. He can get a bad shot anytime. But there has to be a better option…..

  11. thenamestsam

    Owen:
    Seeing Martin put Durant on his back with a nice clean foul was pretty special. Meant to note that I was having serious Oakley/Mason flashbacks, but the server was at a bar around the corner watching the game last night.

    That last play was a joke. I mean JR has stuck two ridiculously difficult contested buzzer beaters this year. I get it. He can get a bad shot anytime. But there has to be a better option…..

    Especially when you see the kinds of creative plays that other coaches draw up in those types of situations. Don’t know if anyone saw the play that Doc drew up to get Boston a layup to beat Indiana, but it was a misdirection thing of beauty. Esspecially with Melo out (and JR gone cold) it was the perfect time to run a play with multiple options since there wasn’t really one player who had to be the guy to take the shot. Instead we got that ugly thing.

    It’s odd because we have seen some very nice plays from Woodson out of time outs, but in game winner situations he seems locked in to these types of looks, even when its JR and not Melo.

  12. DRed

    thenamestsam: Especially when you see the kinds of creative plays that other coaches draw up in those types of situations. Don’t know if anyone saw the play that Doc drew up to get Boston a layup to beat Indiana, but it was a misdirection thing of beauty. Esspecially with Melo out (and JR gone cold) it was the perfect time to run a play with multiple options since there wasn’t really one player who had to be the guy to take the shot. Instead we got that ugly thing.

    It’s odd because we have seen some very nice plays from Woodson out of time outs, but in game winner situations he seems locked in to these types of looks, even when its JR and not Melo.

    Yeah, we’ve run a lot of really nice plays off time outs all year, but at the end of games we just hand it to our ‘shot creator’ and everyone else stands and watches. It’s pretty frustrating.

  13. chrisk06811

    I loves the Earl, but some of those jumpers were as forced as a Jim Cavan punchline. I yelled “foghat” at the TV as he heaved up that final J.

  14. Unreason

    d-mar: To me the most positive takeaway from last night’s game was the defense.

    Yep. Martin’s especially, but the team in general did us proud I thought.

  15. flossy

    nicos: I get that you don’t want Amar’e matched on Durant (or Martin/Sefolosha)

    I don’t know, I’d have gladly invited the Thunder to try to exploit an Amar’e/Sefalosha match-up. What more could you really ask for than Thabo Sefalosha shooting the ball down the stretch?

  16. KnickfaninNJ

    I don’t know about all the “C”s you gave as grades. We had a very close game without Anthony and held the Thunder’s scoring to 95 points. I would think the average grade might be higher.

    I also can’t blame Woodson for not putting Amare in at the end. The key figure is his 29 minutes played. After just losing Anthony for at least two games, possibly due to overuse, I am happy Woodson stuck to Amare’s minutes limit and I am pretty sure that was Woodson’s motivation for not playing him more.

  17. max fisher-cohen

    Owen: That last play was a joke. I mean JR has stuck two ridiculously difficult contested buzzer beaters this year. I get it. He can get a bad shot anytime. But there has to be a better option…..

    If I remember correctly, the play before, the Knicks had the ball down one and JR came off a screen for an open J within 6 seconds.

    Nicos, I think you do put it best: you have to TRY to force other teams to adjust to you. Now, that won’t always work. Most likely, Bosh would have guarded Amar’e, and the Heat would have hidden Battier on Chandler (or James on Chandler before James started guarding Melo). Outside of his offensive rebounding, he’s not going punish other teams’ mismatches.

    Also, the slowness of the Knicks guards makes it really hard for them to also play bigger, slower players up front. If you look at the Grizzlies, who have the biggest frontcourt around, it’s the speed of Conley and Allen — their ability to contain penetration — that allows them to play. There’s also the fact that you could never hide James or Battier on Gasol. Remember when the Knicks tried to do that with Melo? Didn’t work out so well.

    It’s the cost of having 1-dimensional players — very hard to create mismatches when the other team can always hide their worst defenders on Kidd, Shumpert, Chandler, White or Novak.. even Felton. So I do agree that the Knicks have to force their brand of basketball on others, I understand where Woodson is coming from.

  18. mj1

    Woody’s currently doing his best Larry Brown stubborn, crotchety, get off my lawn old guy imitation.

  19. nicos

    max fisher-cohen: If I remember correctly, the play before, the Knicks had the ball down one and JR came off a screen for an open J within 6 seconds.

    Nicos, I think you do put it best: you have to TRY to force other teams to adjust to you. Now, that won’t always work. Most likely, Bosh would have guarded Amar’e, and the Heat would have hidden Battier on Chandler (or James on Chandler before James started guarding Melo). Outside of his offensive rebounding, he’s not going punish other teams’ mismatches.

    Also, the slowness of the Knicks guards makes it really hard for them to also play bigger, slower players up front. If you look at the Grizzlies, who have the biggest frontcourt around, it’s the speed of Conley and Allen — their ability to contain penetration — that allows them to play. There’s also the fact that you could never hide James or Battier on Gasol. Remember when the Knicks tried to do that with Melo? Didn’t work out so well.

    It’s the cost of having 1-dimensional players — very hard to create mismatches when the other team can always hide their worst defenders on Kidd, Shumpert, Chandler, White or Novak.. even Felton. So I do agree that the Knicks have to force their brand of basketball on others, I understand where Woodson is coming from.

    I agree that the going big might not create better match-ups with Miami and OKC (who are both better than the Knicks anyway). That said the two weakest links on those teams are the coaches and I think you should at least try to force them to make a bad decision especially if it means getting your best players out on the floor anyway. I think you stand a better chance of getting Spoelstra or Brooks to blink and go big and match you than you do going small and having to match their best line-ups by using Shump or Novak rather than Chandler or Amar’e.

  20. Brian Cronin

    The Bulls just won against the Bulls on a Marco Belinelli three and Bulls announcer Stacey King shouted “I like my meatballs spicy!” when it went in. WTF, NBA announcers?

  21. Brian Cronin

    Woody’s currently doing his best Larry Brown stubborn, crotchety, get off my lawn old guy imitation.

    It’s weird because D’Antoni was like that, too. Two really stubborn coaches in their last three. Isiah was just weird. Remember when Woody impressed us all with his flexibility early on?

  22. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin: It’s weird because D’Antoni was like that, too. Two really stubborn coaches in their last three. Isiah was just weird. Remember when Woody impressed us all with his flexibility early on?

    Ive begun to sour on Woodson alot but Id still prefer him to Don Chaney lol.

  23. yellowboy90

    Wouldn’t hiding battier on Chandler create a terrible mismatch of trying to guard the lob?

  24. Brian Cronin

    Speaking of former Knick coaches, TNT had a reunion of sorts of the old Orlando Magic team when they had Shaq, Penny and Dennis Scott together in the studio. They were each asked what their highest scoring game in MSG was. Penny actually nailed his exactly and Shaq was basically correct. Scott, by the way, had a 38 point game against the Knicks! Anyhow, as to the Knick coach bit. They all started making fun of Herb Williams as Shaq was talking about playing against him back in the day. I felt bad for ol’ Herb.

  25. max fisher-cohen

    yellowboy90:
    Wouldn’t hiding battier on Chandler create a terrible mismatch of trying to guard the lob?

    The goal against Chandler’s rolls to the basket is to keep him from getting in position to catch a lob. Once he’s at the rim, there aren’t many who can break up a lob. That means usually it’s about team defense. Generally, this means a defender breaks in from the strongside corner 3 guy to get in the way of Chandler, and Chandler and felton’s defenders trap felton. it’s actually advantageous to have a faster guy on Chandler in a pick and roll — he’ll be better at trapping the guard. That’s why most of Chandler’s scoring in games vs smaller lineups is off put backs.

    This is what makes Amar’e capable of being a high usage player whereas Chandler has never been even average: Amar’e can catch the ball six feet from the rim with a guy in front of him and still get a quality shot. Chandler will usually throw it back out for a reset.

    The problem with guarding him with a Battier type player is when he’s motivated, TC can dominate the boards, so you’d need to gang rebound or else you’d end up with Chandler doing what he did to Golden State, when they had Draymond Green guarding him for extended periods.

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