During the lockout-shortened season of 2011-12, it was evident the Dallas Mavericks missed Tyson Chandler.
Not just because the numbers reflected it, but because what Chandler brought in terms of energy and enthusiasm was gone. It was more evident during the playoffs when the Mavs were swept in the first round.But along the way, Brandan Wright became that guy who showed flashes of Chandler. He wasn’t as energetic at the rim, but he was an athletic, long shot blocker who had the ability to make a difference.
Wright’s problem, however, is that he’s too skinny. Bigger post players can bully him in the paint, so his shot blocking is neutralized once a guy like DeAndre Jordan or Roy Hibbert (the pre-playoff atrocity Hibbert, of course) gets into position three feet from the basket.
Wright can do everything Chandler did during his first stint in Dallas; blocking shots, catching alley oops being an effective weapon in a halfcourt set.
Tyson Chandler did everything better, though.
He was able to put every skill together in a way that most centers in the NBA can’t do nowadays. Chandler should’ve been an All-Star back in 2011. He also should’ve been more highly regarded than he was to win the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Now that Tyson is back, and is the anchor and vocal leader on the Mavs, this is a perfect opportunity for Wright to learn from a guy who, when healthy, is still considered one of the top-five centers in the league.
Chandler’s final season with the New York Knicks was an aberration. It wasn’t real.
Anything you saw last season, just ignore it and forget you ever saw it. Tyson Chandler will be back to his old self in the 2014-15 season, and will be a force that will make the Mavs a legitimate contender in the Western Conference.
Wright won’t put on as much muscle as Chandler. If he could, he would.
For some reason, Brandan Wright will forever be lanky, and that’s not a bad thing. It won’t be a bad thing once Wright and Chandler are on the court at the same time.
The signing of Greg Smith means that Wright can be moved back to his original power forward position, behind Dirk Nowitzki. Wright has played backup center his entire time in Dallas, which he’s capable of doing.
He’s just not comfortable doing it.
Having another big alongside Wright will only better his ability as a defender. He’s already a difference maker when it comes to shot blocking, but his length gives him that extra leverage to play away from the basket and defend the power forwards that tend to take that 15-foot jump shot every now and then.
Plus, in the rare occurrence that Wright will get beat on the low block, there’s Chandler protecting his backside at the rim. That’s why bringing back Tyson Chandler, or bringing any center in with better credentials than Samuel Dalembert, was such a necessity.
There may be points during the season where Dallas plays those low-scoring, defensive-heavy games. In a last-second situation, having two guys in your frontcourt that can do the same thing is a major boost to Dallas’ defense.
Wright is going to get a bigger role this upcoming season. Dirk hasn’t had a quality backup in a number of years.
Brandan Wright becomes that backup, and he has Tyson Chandler as a quality teacher.
Dallas’ frontcourt has the ability to be really scary.