Why guard Tyson Chandler if he's not involved in the offense?
HOWIE EVANS AmNews Sports Editor | 1/6/2012, 2:56 p.m.
Earlier this week-Monday night to be exact-the Toronto Raptors flew across the border into the States, where they played 48 minutes of basketball at the Garden against the Knicks.
To make a long story short, the Raptors whipped the Knicks, sending them south to Carolina with a 90-85 loss. The Knicks played the Bobcats last night (Wednesday) at Bobcats Arena.
To be perfectly frank, the Knicks played behind for much of the scrimmage (that's what it looked like). Both the Raptors and Knicks spread the floor. Carmelo Anthony and Toney Douglas took turns firing from three-point range throughout the game. By the end of the third quarter, they had fired up a collective 36 shots, with Anthony eight for 23 and Douglas seven for 13. The Raptors won the game of jump shots, 90-85.
Since the first game of the season on Christmas Day at the Garden, it is obvious the Knicks cannot expect to make some noise with two or three players shooting the rock. They have to get an inside presence. They have to get points in the paint. Otherwise, they will have a difficult time beating the very good teams, as well as the mediocre squads such as Toronto.
Tyson Chandler took four shots in 43 minutes of play against Toronto. He made three. Coach Mike D'Antoni may want to think about getting the rock to him in the paint. At the very least, Chandler should be a threat to keep the defense honest.
D'Antoni's spread offense may win a bunch of games as long as Anthony and the injured Amar'e Stoudemire can fill the basket every night out from long distance. But D'Antoni may want to think about Chandler as a decent presence in the paint.
However, as witnessed thus far in the season, with a trio of jump shooters firing away, along with the subs coming off the bench, why guard Chandler? The only time he grips the pill is when he gets an offensive or defensive rebound. Ofttimes, he wanders away from the basket to set screens for his long-distance gunners. And when they miss, it's almost impossible for him to hustle to the front of the rim and fight for the rebound.
The Knicks, as we witnessed last season, will have a difficult time beating the good teams without establishing some semblance of an inside attack.