Monday, December 13, 2010

Wilson Chandler: Role Player

Rob Mahoney breaks down Wilson Chandler's more efficient game.
The structure of a quality basketball team demands symbiosis. It’s not good enough to put together a collection of talent with a mutual interest in winning; instead, the most effective squads are assembled in a way that allows each component to benefit from being a part of the comprehensive whole. It’s from that truism that Chandler’s efficient campaign was born. He’s a productive player when left to his own devices, but Chandler has transformed into a steady hub of efficient scoring by attacking defenses oriented to stop Stoudemire and Felton.

Chandler isn’t a radically different player than he was a year ago, but by spending some quality time with his jumper and subtly altering his playing style, he has been able to increase his shot efficiency while reducing his turnovers.
This, for me, is the key to the Knicks' early success. The starting five all have clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Because Stoudemire and Felton, the lynchpins of D'Antoni's system, are playing so effectively, the rest of the squad can take advantage of their opportunities. Last year, in comparison, Chandler, a good player, probably had to produce more because the offense, then run by Chris Duhon, broke down more often than not. As a result, he often forced some bad shots, often trying to play above his head. It wasn't always pretty.

This year, though, Chandler's playing within a structured, and better run, system as a third or fourth option with Danilo Gallinari. And both Chandler and Gallinari, averaging 17 and 15 points, respectively, are turning into steady hubs of efficient scoring, while Stoudemire and Felton take care of the rest. It's all about individual roles.

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