Going to break down Chander's progress in the first 3rd of the season as compared to last year. Stats and fun after the jump..
Wilson Chandler, along with David Lee (I can't count N8 this year) is essentially the last remnants of the Isiah era and as many have pointed out before, maybe his best pick. We all knew the athleticism was there, but we wanted to see him grow as a smarter, more efficient player (meaning less terrible 3's). What we're seeing is the makings of a solid forward.
.448% FG (5.5/12.9)
.328% 3pt (1.3/3.8 made/attempts per game)
1.7 TO / Game
2.1/2.6 FTA/FTM per game
.269% 3pt (.8/3.0 made/attempts per game)
1.5 TO / game
1.7/2.0 FTA/FTM per game
Looking at the overall stats, he's been essentially the same player as last year. HOWEVER, any Knicks fan will tell you that he's been recovering from an ankle injury the first month and a half and this past month is where we really have to look to see what a healthy Chandler can do:
.50.5% FG (7.0/13.9)
.290% 3pt (.8/2.7 made/attempts per game)
1.5 TO / game
1.7/2.1 FTA/FTM per game
December Comparison vs. 2008/09
I know, 1 month is a really small sample, but just thinking logically, isn't this all where we thought his game would end up? The one thing that stands out to me is his 3 pt attempts: he is a terrible 3pt shooter, but on the bright side, he's taking 1 less per game vs. last year. Also, despite the slight increase in minutes, he's been able to keep his TO/game at essentially the same level.
Defense and SF vs. SG
Also, for all of Chandler's abilities, he really hasn't been the defensive stopper that we've been hoping for. Again, blks and stls will never tell the whole story, but if Gallo is able to avg a blk/game, with Chandler's athleticism, why can't he? I think the answer lies more in his playing position.
Looking at the position data courtesy of 82games (http://www.82games.com/0910/09NYK5.HTM), he seems to be a more effective player as a SG rather then SF. Here's a quick stat breakdown:
Chandler playing SG:
Net -2.6 PER (his PER minus opponent's PER)
Chandler playing SF:
Net -5.3 PER (his PER minus opponent's PER)
Again, +/- stats has it flaws, but when it differentiates by this much, it's at least notable that Chandler seems to be more effective as a SG.
I don't live in the NY metro area (meaning no MSG network) and I don't have NBA Broadband Access, but I've seen a couple of games, so I have to rely more on these stats and the small dosage that I've seen. Also, I'm relying on other posters on this blog to help me with Chandler's live play and it seems like he's still settling for too many jumpers (although as of late he seems to have been going to the hoop more).
Also, I haven't really seen anyone mention that he sucks on D, so I'm assuming he's doing at least a decent job, but wonder if Chandler is a good defender (I don't ever really notice him on the court which could be a good thing on D).
I think Chandler for all his athletic prowess doesn't contain much more basketball talent. In the end, I think he serves as a solid rotation SG who's capable of taking it the rim and be a solid defensive player, but for anyone who thinks that Chandler will become more then a 17 pts/7 rebs/1 stl/1blk (at best) a game player needs to reevaluate. Yes he's 22 and there could be more growth, but from what I've seen, I don't see him getting any better then that unless either A) His handle improves much more so he gets to the line more often, B) Everything clicks with him defensively, or C) His 3pt shot DRAMATICALLY improves. I'm not saying he can't get there, but personally, I don't think he'll be much more then a solid SG/SF type, something like a poor man's Danny Granger.