An Analysis of Wilson Chandler of the New York Knicks

David GlazerCorrespondent IAugust 2, 2010

NEW YORK - JANUARY 28: Wilson Chandler #21 of the New York Knicks shoots over Antoine Wright #21 of the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2010 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Wilson Chandler is an athlete.

At 6'8", 220 pounds, he is sculpted, fast, and can jump. His athleticism makes him versatile on defense.

As a basketball player, he is a natural small forward (or "three"). He drives the ball well and shoots well on contested shots in the paint. He can draw fouls and hits his free throws.

Chandler had a very good season statistically last year. He scored 15.3 points per game on 47.9 percent shooting from the field, and 80.6 percent from the free throw line.

He averaged 5.3 rebounds per game while shifting between shooting guard and small forward. He had more assists than turnovers and even blocked 0.8 shots per game as a wing player.

On offense, he drives almost exclusively to his right when going to the rim. When he drives left he usually pulls up for a mid-range jump shot, or looks to pass. He needs to improve his left-hand dribbling to improve his driving ability.

He has good hand/arm mechanics on his jump shot. He repeats the motion and has good back spin on his shot. His shot is a little flat and he lacks range.

His inconsistency on his jump shot from range is due to his inconsistent foot work. Rather than going up with his feet under him, he often goes up with his feet unbalanced.

A shooter's feet should be parallel when going up for a jump shot. For some reason, his left foot tends to be forward. So, he does not go up straight and often fades back on his jumper. A player can get away with this in close, but not with range. So, if he fixes his footwork on his long-range jumper, then he will be a much better shooter.

Wilson also has a solid post game. He has a good move over either shoulder and uses the backboard well. So, he can be used in the post on offense as an asset.

Defensively, he is a good weak side defender and gets most of his blocks off of help defense. He plays conservative on-the-ball defense and focuses on keeping his man out of the paint as opposed to trying to deny jump shots.

This defensive strategy becomes more prominent when he defends a guard as opposed to a forward. He trusts his length and jumping ability to enable him to contest jump shots when guarding smaller players.

Because he is physically strong, he is excellent at defending the post. His man rarely tries to take him down low as a result. Plus, he can switch on the pick and roll and defend a big man.

While Chandler is not a natural shooting guard (or "two"), he has the necessary skills to defend twos. So, with the Knicks, he essentially guards the two and plays a three-role on offense.

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Conversely, his teammate Danilo Gallinari lacks the lateral quickness to guard a two, but has the skills to play the two on offense. So, Gallinari essentially can be the shooting guard on offense and forward on defense while Chandler can be the reverse.

In actuality, their skills are very complementary, and it is why Chandler should get the first chance to be the starting two for the Knicks.


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