February 18, 2012, 12:10 pm
Keeping Score: Chandler Overshadowed as Spotlight Follows Lin
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By JUSTIN KUBATKO
With seemingly the entire nation ensnared by the grasp of Linsanity, the Knicks’ most valuable newcomer, Tyson Chandler, goes quietly about his work as one of the most effective players in the N.B.A.
Acquired by the Knicks in December as part of a three-team trade with Dallas and the Washington Wizards, Chandler was a key member of the Mavericks’ 2010-11 championship run. A pending free agent, he became available because Dallas was apparently unwilling to give him more than a two-year contract.
Chandler, who finished third last season in the voting for the defensive player of the year, has been the linchpin of the Knicks’ defensive revival. Last season the Knicks allowed 110.1 points per 100 possessions, which was eighth worst in the league. But this season they are allowing just 99.5 points per 100 possessions, the league’s sixth-best mark.
Although Chandler does not have a signature defensive skill (à la Dennis Rodman or Dikembe Mutombo), his defensive statistics are solid across the board.
Chandler grabs about 22.6 percent of all available defensive rebounds, the best rate on the Knicks, and he leads the team with an average of 3.1 blocked shots per 100 opponent shots from 2-point range.
In addition, Chandler is one of only 11 players averaging at least one steal and one block per game. And even though he is active on defense, he has the eighth-lowest personal-foul rate among qualifying centers, averaging 4.6 fouls per 48 minutes.
While Chandler is clearly the team’s defensive leader, he does not play a large role on the offensive end. That said, he takes full advantage of the opportunities he is given, and by some measures he is the N.B.A.’s most efficient offensive player.
True shooting percentage is a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account 2-point field goals, 3-point field goals and free throws. Chandler’s true shooting percentage is .736,.064 better than that of the runner-up, Mario Chalmers, and he is on pace to break Artis Gilmore’s single-season record of .702 set during the 1981-82 season.
Putting it all together, Chandler is one of the more valuable players in the N.B.A.
Win Shares is an estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player through his offense and his defense. Chandler has 5.4 Win Shares in 2011-12, good for third in the league, and he is averaging .247 Win Shares per 48 minutes, the league’s fifth-best rate.
Perhaps most impressive, Chandler is playing more efficiently than he did last season, even though his playing time has increased by almost six minutes per game.
The story of Jeremy Lin is a compelling one, but the contributions of Chandler should not be lost in the hype. Without Chandler, the Knicks might be competing for a berth in the lottery as opposed to a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Ty Chan. What a legend! Worth the contract without a doubt.
Warrior, winner, womanizer!