This is where Chandler makes his impact on offense, often forcing opposing teams to choose between a dunk and an open 3-pointer.
“When you got to guard the 3-point line and with the way he rolls with force to the rim, it puts a lot of pressure on you,” Indiana Coach Frank Vogel said of Chandler.
Novak acknowledged how much he benefits from the threat Chandler poses.
“We depend so much on having somebody drawing attention in the middle and hoping that our guy goes in to tag and opens us up for one second,” he said.
Chandler’s presence also makes opponents reluctant to help on drives, as when Jason Kidd was able to drive unguarded to the rim because Tyler Hansbrough, who was staring at Kidd the whole way, did not want to abandon Chandler.
It’s often not recognized enough how setting screens is a legitimate offensive skill akin to more easily discernible talents like ball-handling and Chandler excels at it. There is more to it than simply getting in someone’s way, since if that’s all it took there’s a few million New Yorkers walking the streets every day who I’m sure would suffice (Move it people, I’m walking here!).
This is also an excellent reminder of the myriad of ways that basketball players can affect the outcome of games without necessarily scoring, it’s one of those things that makes the game so much fun to watch, the way individual skills blend within the large context of the team.
Tyson Chandler does not put up massive offensive numbers, but the threat he poses leads to a lot of easy dunks or wide-open threes, two possible outcomes that are equally wonderful (I regret saying wonderful just then, it’s kind of an awkward word for a man).