I really liked this Ethan Sherwood Strauss piece on Tyson Chandler over at Hoopspeak.com. The takeaway is that Chandler is what he calls a ‘minimalist,” meaning a guy who understands both his strengths and limitations and expertly maximizes the things he’s good at, while minimizing the damage for the skills he lacks:
Tyson Chandler can’t shoot well, or dribble well, and he’s a bit skinny. Though, I sometimes wonder whether he’d be worse for his team were he any more blessed in those categories. His lack of a jump shot has led to a cartoonish 70% field goal mark. His lack of a handle has led to one turnover per game. His lack of bulk means fewer shotclock ticks sacrificed to the altar of drible-drible-back-down post-ups. New York’s big man enters a game, and only expertly controls a manageable amount of reality.
For all the skills that Chandler lacks on the offensive end — such trivialites as dribbling and shooting — it’s pretty amazing how impactful he still is on that end of the floor. Certainly, a lot of that is owed to playing alongside a truly special offensive force in Carmelo Anthony, and a system that suits his skills, but Chandler deserves credit for perfectly understanding his role and meshing what he does well within the larger context of the team. Go back and watch last night’s demolition of Brooklyn if you’d like ample evidence of this fact.
I know there’s still a faction that spends a lot of time picking all of Chandler’s various nits — his shot blocking numbers, total rebounds and lack of any discernible post moves — but I still think this view is fairly nuts, and ignores how perfectly this guy fits with what the Knicks are doing.
There’s this nice symmetry between he and Carmelo, in which Chandler lets Melo keep the offense humming and he pretty much holds down the rest. That’s obviously overly simplistic, but it’s just been awfully satisfying to watch the two co-exist at the four and five, respectively.
The bottom line is that if you’re not enjoying Tyson Chandler right now, you’re doing it wrong.