Currently browsing category

Tyson Chandler

Tyson Chandler’s injury and the unlikeable New York Knickerbockers

(It’s just a week into the 2013-2014 NBA season and the New York Knickerbockers absolutely stink. At 1-3, the Knicks are somehow worse than their record suggests: center and defensive anchor Tyson Chandler broke his leg in Tuesday’s game against Charlotte, putting him on the shelf for 4-6 weeks. The fan base, already a pessimistic lot, have gone into a full-fledged panic…though it’s hard to classify their anger as “panic”. “Panic” would assume that they had faith in this team to begin with.

I corresponded with MAMBINO co-founder BockerKnocker regarding this turn of events, and how it affects this year’s Knicks)
KOBEshigawa: Just to set up everyone with some context, how did you feel about YOUR…New York Knickerbockers before Tyson Chandler’s injury?
BockerKnocker: The major players in the Eastern Conference had all improved their standing, save for two teams. The Miami Heat didn’t get better, but they are still unquestionably the league’s premier team. The New York Knicks, on the other hand got worse.
I was an Andrea Bargnani detractor from the get-go. He can’t do anything that the average NBA player can do, aside from perimeter shooting. To justify the absurd price that Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri posted for Il Mago, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson would have to play him big minutes. A big uh-oh.… Read more...

To rebound into a title contender, can the 2013-2014 Lakers follow the blueprint of the 2010-2011 Dallas Mavericks?

As tough as a postseason-less 2013 was on the Dallas Mavericks and their fans, just three years ago, having a high-seeded playoff team didn’t feel any better.
The 2010 Mavs were the latest disappointment in what felt like an endless string of them. Dallas was just four years removed from an epic playoff collapse against the Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals, and three years away from losing as a 67-wing number 1 seed to the 8-seed Golden State Warriors. The 2009-2010 Mavericks had recently reloaded the team, bringing on former All-Stars like Shawn Marion and Jason Kidd in addition to incumbent All-Stars Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry. They took a very good 55-27 record and a 2nd seed into the playoffs, but like their predecessors, were unceremoniously dismissed; this time it was a first round loss to the 7th seeded San Antonio Spurs in 6 games. Even as solid as their regular season was, the future didn’t look terribly bright for Dallas. The ghosts of their past playoff failures seemed to haunt the team every spring, which included an aging core of Nowitzki (31), Marion (31), Brendan Haywood (30), Terry (32) and Kidd (36). Suffice to say, the Mavs weren’t getting much younger. Not all was lost–after all, Dirk was still an All-Star, the team had a very good and very underrated coach in Rick Carlisle and an excellent owner that took annual financial losses to make sure his team had everything necessary to remain competitive. However, few expected that the team was close to having the makings of a championship core. 2010-2011 was supposed to be just another year in which the Mavericks were a potent squad, but ultimately an also-ran in the race for the chip.
But after a shrewd series of moves in the summer of 2010, and then into the season, the pieces for a championship contender had quietly fallen into place:
July 13, 2010: Traded Matt Carroll, Erick Dampier, Eduardo Najera and cash to the Charlotte Bobcats for Alexis Ajinca and Tyson Chandler. Signed Ian Mahinmi as a free agent.
September 27, 2010: Signed Brian Cardinal as a free agent.
January 24, 2011: Signed Peja Stojakovic as a free agent.
At the time, none of these moves were considering even close to resembling significant transactions. Chandler was coming off an injury-filled year in Charlotte, and even worse, was traded to the Mavericks for the mere price of Erick Dampier’s expiring deal. The prevailing sentiment that summer was that Dampier’s eight-figure contract would be a key asset in claiming another star to prop up Nowitzki. Though Chandler was considered an upgrade over Dampier’s rapidly degrading corpse, he wasn’t nearly the player that made him into a Defensive Player of the Year seasons later, and thus was thought of as a rather underwhelming acquisition considering the expectations. The pair of 33 year-olds in the Immortal Brian Cardinal and Peja Stojakovic were both on their way out of the league, and few thought they could continue to contribute.
By the end of June, it was clear that these acquisitions were more important than any Decision that had gone on in the summer of 2010. Chandler was the key, quarterbacking a stout defense that ranked as the league’s 8th most efficient per 100 possessions. Shouting out instructions from the paint, Tyson, as well as Marion and DeShawn Stevenson created a deceivingly tough inside-out D that bulldozed their way to a solid 57-win season and an eventual 4-2 victory over the Miami Heat in the Finals for the franchise’s first titl… Read more...

Defense Wins Championships: The All-D Teams

Welcome to MAMBINO’s All-Defensive team selection post, or as I like to call it, the True NBA Hoophead Nerd-fest.

The funny thing about defining the All-Defensive team is that other than watching an ass-load of hoops, there’s no real way to quantify whether or not someone makes this team. Sure, blocks and steals are two metrics that could help define defense, but you know who are in the top 5 of blocks this year? Dwight Howard, Serge Ibaka, Roy Hibbert, DeAndre Jordan and professional unintentional comedian JaVale McGee. Do Dwight, Serge and Hibbert deserve some merit for either 1st or 2nd team All-Defensive? Absolutely. But Jordan and McGee? Absolutely not. Both guys make so many boneheaded defensive plays a game, whether it’s missing rotations, not sealing an assignment well enough or not boxing out, that even though they get blocks on sheer athleticism, they can’t be regarded as All-NBA defenders.

So I’m sorry to the all the nihilistic basketball robot writers out there, who live by complex formulas, plus/minus ratings and efficiency statistics; these awards are given out here by guys who actually watch the game, rather than reduce it to a game of human sudoku. Hai. You have to catch the eye of the true nerds of the game, and wow them with physical play, smart decision-making and of course, suffocating tenacity.

All-Defensive 1st Team
G-Iman Shumpert, New York Knicks
G-Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies
F-LeBron James, Miami Heat
F-Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers
C-Tyson Chandler (DPOY), New York Knicks

BockerKnocker: Tyson Chandler is not one of the league leaders in blocks, even while standing at a height of 7’1″ (Mambino 2nd teamer Serge Ibaka paces the group with a healthy 3.56 per game). Chandler is only 9th in the league in Defensive Win Shares, a statistic that computes the amount of points allowed for every 100 possessions in which the player is in the game. He isn’t the best big man at hedging screens, grabbing rebounds, or defending the post. And for the life of me, I can’t understand why he fails to box out the opposition or why he has an incessant need to backtap every single loose ball on the offensive end. But in most circles, he is the consensus Defensive Player of the Year, and this heavenly website is no different (for once).

Let’s not get it twisted — Chandler does most of those things at an above-average level. His completeness, however, isn’t the primary reason he deserves this award; rather, it only augments the one quality that separates him from the rest of the league.

He talks.

And talks. And talks. And talks. In just about every situation in life, talking too much has been branded with negativity (or at least that’s what people tell me when they explain why I need to shut up). But on the defensive end of the basketball court, a team’s leader cannot talk enough. His words form the customary instructions and warnings that are necessary for a team to succeed at getting stops, and he’s not afraid to get in the face of anybody, including Carmelo Anthony. But it’s not just during games. Chandler is a chatterbox at practices. Chandler will take a player aside, most often a young player, like Toney Douglas, and play teacher, often at the expense of Mike D’Antoni trying to brainwash the team into scoring more points.

People like to say that a true MVP makes the players around him better. In the Knicks’ 4 games without Chandler, they revert back to the MDA era Bockers, giving up more than 115 points per game. … Read more...

State of the Garden: Chicago Just Got Another Rebound

If I’m ever late for anything, there are plenty of things to which I can point the blame. Maybe it’s the extra 5 minutes in the shower. Maybe the traffic lights didn’t work in my favor or the subway decided it was convenient to run on the local tracks. But more likely, it’s probably that I didn’t care about being punctual.

Last night, YOUR New York Knickerbockers were outrebounded by the Chicago Bulls. That sentence isn’t that dramatic, until I tell you that the margin of glasswork was +18. That sentence has a touch of flavor, but I’ll take it a step further by telling you that the Bulls had 22 offensive boards compared to the Knicks’ 29 on the defensive end. So when Chicago was on offense, shooting an I-would-sign-up-for-this-everyday 43% from the field, they battled to a -7 deficit on the 57% of attempts that did not go through the net. On defense, a team has an easier time establishing the positioning required to grab more rebounds than the opposition. The vast majority of possessions will have most, if not all, defenders playing between their man and the basket, especially without the use of a zone defense.

Now let’s see: if the defender is between their man and the basket, the defender is closer to the hoop, and thus has the advantage of advancing the ancient basketball tradition of boxing out. In this scenario, it is embarrassing for a defense to yield a +7 advantage on the boards when they are protecting their own rim. So what happened?
There are plenty of reasons why the Knicks didn’t rebound the ball well last night:

1. They are not a good rebounding team

When the team signed Tyson Chandler, head coach Mike D’Antoni declared that the best frontcourt in the world played their home games at Madison Square Garden. Normally, when you think of an imposing front line, you think of big dudes who will take advantage of you whenever their size gives them such an opportunity.

Carmelo Anthony is 6’8″, 230 pounds.
Amar’e Stoudemire is 6’11” and weighs about 2.5 bills (although he’s listed at 260, he’s been doing extra work to get down to 245, in response to criticism that he has lost explosiveness).
Tyson Chandler is 7’1″, 240.

Big dudes. The three of them average a little less than 24 rebounds per game, and those numbers don’t exactly paint a picture of doom and gloom. But any seasoned fan will tell you that it’s just not enough, even before we witnessed Chicago’s dominance last night.

The best rebounder of the trio is undoubtedly Carmelo Anthony. I thought Anthony had a decent game last night. KOBEsh even texted me to say that sometimes, the man puts on a display that will convince you that he’s one of the best we have in this league (Hubie Brown voice). Melo’s aggressiveness on the offensive end leads to several opportunities for offensive putbacks, and his second jump differentiates his game from most of today’s player. I’m not going to complain about his rebounding.

STAT and Tyson just don’t box out. Ever. If you watched the scrums last night, you’d think that Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, and Carlos Boozer had cooties or something. It is beyond frustrating to witness. I can’t really explain Amar’e’s inability to get tough rebounds consistently, nor can I explain Tyson’s stubbornness to try and outjump his opponents without first trying to seal them off. The basics of boardwork are lost with these two guys, and while I love them for oth… Read more...

State of the Union Kickoff – New York Knicks

You know how the State of the Union addresses go, right? President goes up and speaks about how the country is kicking ass in everything. Problems during the President’s term are either masked with rehearsed rhetoric or omitted from discussion in entirety. And, our favorite part: Congressmen, celebrities, and other losers get on their feet for the obligatory applause as soon as Mr. President indicates that it is the correct time to do so.

Well, and especially in the Knicks’ case, you won’t need to stop reading mid-blog post and clap your hands. This post will be the first in a series of irregularly scheduled posts detailing Mambino’s favorite professional teams. I’ll take care of the Bockers and Yankees, KOBEsh will handle Lakers and Dodgers, and Pucklius will muse on the Devils and Mets. Each prominent player will be given a number of Mambinos, on a scale of 1-5, with some biased analysis to follow. (Hey, at least we’re honest.)

The Knicks are off to a 2-4 start. The team has heard boos during every single home game: losses to the lowly Raptors and Bobcats, and even during the win over the Celtics, when New York squandered a 20 point lead in the 2nd half. But relax, guys. Remember that the goal in a shortened season is to simply make the playoffs. However, that doesn’t mean that the team is free of problems that need to be addressed. Let’s get to it.

Before we get to the bad news, let’s talk about Shump Dizzle. Last night’s game against the Bobcats provided one bright spot: the Garden faithful’s acceptance of Iman Shumpert into their lives. He hit shot after shot after shot. He played excellent man-to-man defense. He made smart decisions. Basically, he was everything that we wished Toney Douglas was: a real point guard who can provide a spark when necessary. When MDA inexplicably took Shump out of the game in the 4th quarter, when the Knicks were building their last comeback, the crowd begged and pleaded for his return. D’Antoni listened, for once, and is now contemplating starting the rook on Friday night against the Washington Walls.
I took an informal poll in my section last night, and not one person said they would trade Shumpert for the rookie on the opposing bench, Kemba Walker. And that’s saying something. This guy has all the tools to be an All-Star one day. Consider my #21 t-shirt already ordered.
The Knicks gave up a billion points last night to the Charlotte Bobcats. Disgusting, I know; everytime B.J. Freaking Mullens hit a jumper from the perimeter, my heart asked my brain why I decided to become a Knicks fan. And expectedly, the fingers are being pointed at Tyson Chandler, the guy who was supposed to “correct” the porous Knick defense. But wait a second. He’s just one man.
If you’ve caught a glimpse of training camp, practices, or have been lucky enough to sit close enough in the Garden, you will hear one voice over everybody else’s (including the easily recognizable D’antoni Drawl): Tyson’s. He teaches lessons and barks out orders to everyone, including Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. In games, he still blocks more than 1 shot a game, and alters at least 5 more. His free throw shooting has been pretty decent, and he’s a nice target for lobs inside.
So why does he not get 4 Mambinos, or even 3.5? Well, those rebounding numbers are low at less than 7 per game. There are two reasons for that. First, his defensive prowess cannot physical