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Basketball philosophy

33pt breakdown: Is Tyson Chandler a star talent?

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Wizards v/s Mavericks 02/26/11

Wizards v/s Mavericks 02/26/11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tyson Chandler’s career path has been interesting. After getting picked 2nd overall in the 2001 his first 9 years in the league were that of a respectable starting center but a disappointment, playing on 3 teams by the time he was 27. His season in Charlotte was his nadir, losing minutes in the rotation to Nazr Muhammad and Theo Ratliff (!!!) which along with injury concerns, made him seem like a total afterthought as a player.

Then Chandler goes to Dallas and everything changes. He helps the Mavericks win the title with a mix of defending, rebounding and all-time great shooting efficiency, gets a max contract, then wins defensive player the next year on the Knicks. This year he’s been key to a 14-4 start. Chandler the last 3 seasons has quietly been an advanced stats star, putting up top 10 in Wins Shares/48 minutes marks (5th in 2010-2011 in Dallas, 8th in 2011-2012, 2nd in 2012-2013). But the reputation of a star still somewhat alludes him, normally because players without great scoring statistics are the ones who are most often called stars. Many would likely still call Dallas’ 2011 title as a “1 star” team, complimenting Dirk for winning the title without a star 2nd banana like most title teams have.

Here is my 33pt talent grading system’s evaluation of Tyson Chandler:

Chandler’s top strength is his feel for the game. He is an extremely intelligent help defender and pick and roll defender, likewise he has become a devastating pick and roll offensive player due to his ability to find the angles and spacing rolling to the rim. Chandler’s understanding of the game and space is great. This has always been true of Chandler even in the first 9 years of his career – he has been responsible positionally at both ends.

Next, Chandler is an impressive physical talent. While never the bulkiest center in the league, he can explode to the rim hard and has great length for a center. He is not a truly dominant shotblocker (averaging 1.7 blocks per 36 minutes for his career) but can protect the rim. His rebounding numbers per minute has always been excellent. For a center he has high end physical talent.

Chandler’s skill game is where he’s made his biggest leaps. Once a player relegated to clean up baskets, he’s become a more skilled finisher, which is how he’s putting up those .70 TS% type efficiencies the last few years. This skill improvement has also correlated with an increase in FT shooting, averaging over 70% the last 4 seasons from the line. Chandler is obviously not the most skilled center in the league in regards to creating his own shot, but at the center position I believe having elite hands and finishing around the rim ranks well, with many players at the position having very little offense. Chandler is somewhere between average and decent in skill talent.

Adding it up: Chandler has elite feel for the game talent and physical talent for a center. A fair grade for Tyson in those grades would be 9 in both. Thus giving Chandler a conservative score of 5 in skill level for a center would make his total score 23. With 20 being my rough bench-mark for all-star and 24-25 being where a player crosses into superstar territory, Chandler’s score is fabulous and indicative that indeed, he is a star talent. The Dallas Mavericks had a “2nd star” on the 2011 team beside Dirk Nowitzki and the New York Knicks have a 2nd star to play with Carmelo Anthony – His name is Tyson Chandler.

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Written by jr.

December 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm

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