After explaining how Kevin Love’s ability to spread the floor challenged him as a defender, Chandler was asked how he could exploit Love.
Reporter: “How are you taking advantage of it then?
Reporter: ”How can you take advantage of the mismatch on your end?”
Reporter: “Oh! Go at him. He can’t play D!”
Oh, Tyson Chandler. A year or two ago, these comments would have been spot on. But the person/team/context that this was stated makes Chandler appear abundantly tone-deaf.
You know who was the best defensive big man in the NBA last season? Chandler. But that’s changed. And only Tyson Chandler would consider a 15-point outburst “going at” someone on offense. The lack of self-awareness, not to mention the way that the Knicks’ actually won the game, is hard to miss here.
The Knicks won because the Wolves (see: Corey Brewer) simply couldn’t guard Carmelo Anthony, and they committed far too many turnovers on the offensive end of the floor. The Chandler-Love match-up had an effect on the outcome, to be sure, but likely not as much as Chandler imagined it.
Love still was free for a number of three-pointers; he simply missed them. If he had shot at his usual clip, we’d be talking about how Tyson couldn’t chase him on the perimeter. Sure, Love scored but a couple baskets in the paint, but he’s been doing the majority of his damage from the perimeter of late, anyways.
I’m not defending Love’s defense. He’s an average defender, at best. And yes, he occasionally sacrifices an opportunity to challenge a shot because of a combination of foul-trouble concerns and the desire to corral rebounds for his team.
But take a quick look at the Points Per Possession, as pointed out by @KellyScaletta:
Tyson Chandler’s Synergy numbers, .84 ppp against. Kevin Love’s .86 ppp against. Not enough difference there for Chandler to be jabbering.
— Kelly Scaletta (@KellyScaletta) March 6, 2014
Hmmm. Kelly goes on to point out that indeed, Chandler chose to talk about this just three days after Joakim Noah dropped an easy triple-double on him in Chicago. Way to go, Tyson. While it is sad to see Chandler decline/stop trying so rapidly, it’s happening.
Wake up, basketball world. Kevin Love’s defensive issues aren’t the least of the Wolves’ concerns. They have plenty of other, more pressing problems.