Tyson Chandler shot roughly 180 percent from the field this season. That number represents both Chandler's finishing skills-- which have come quite a long way since he entered the league-- and his limitations. Chandler succeeded because he's a monster, but also because he's a monster who only tries to do monster things when he's in his monster habitat. Get him the ball under the rim and he'll put that ball through the rim and often through a defender's esophagus. Otherwise, Chandler's more likely to chill at the perimeter and do some passing or, if given the ball on the move away from the basket, get into a bit of trouble. He produced only occasionally when catching far from the rim or with his back to the basket. The Heat exploited that knowledge and, at times, appeared willing to grant the Knicks a very high pick-and-roll with Chandler, knowing full well that he hadn't the range nor the footwork to react properly when Shane Battier slid in to draw a charge.
Anyway, Tyson knows he has offensive limitations, and while cleaning out his locker last week, he told Jared Zwerling that he wants to augment his offensive game for next season:
"I want to come back in better condition and I want to be more of a force on the block," he said. "I want to be able to pass better out of pick-and-rolls. I just want to become more of a threat. Myself and Amare, we really have to become a threat on the block. I mean, we have the pieces here and we have to get better. ... I've got to come back a better player next year."
This comes after Mike Woodson and Amar'e Stoudemire agreed that it would behoove Amar'e to add some more back-to-the-basket skillz to his repertoire. Indeed. These are all the kind of offseason words that tend to get us all in a tizzy during the long, cold summer, only to prove empty once the actual basketball restarts, but...yeah, if Amar'e learns a few new moves and counters and Tyson could show up to camp confident in any of the following: 1. Ten-foot jumper 2. One reliable back-to-the-basket move 3. Passing out of the high pick-and-roll...well, that'd be awesome. Chandler has a jumper and a righty hook-- we saw a couple of each this season and have seen them in his pre-Knicks career-- but he wasn't comfortable enough with either, I guess, to deploy them much during games.
Really, adding a single arrow to either big man's quiver could do wonders to open up the floor for everybody. And for Amar'e, it's as much about recalibrating old skills (like the elbow jumper that just wouldn't fall this season) as it is about honing new ones. Come autumn, we'll see. For now, we DREAM. TYSON CHANDLER FOR THREEEEEEEE