It’s All About Tyson Chandler Now

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – It’s obvious that the Mavericks’ season would be all but over if Dirk Nowitzki had not fought through the effects of fever to play the role of Lazarus in Game 4.

It was also timely and significant that Jason Terry used that clutch fourth quarter to finally pull his “JET” persona out of the hangar for the first time in The Finals.

But if Dallas is going to keep fooling the experts, bamboozling the Heat and have a real chance of clawing out its first NBA championship, the series will likely rest in the hands of Tyson Chandler.

Yes, that Tyson Chandler, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2001 Draft who was traded on Draft night by the Clippers and spent the next nine seasons bouncing from Chicago to New Orleans to Charlotte before finally becoming an anchor in the middle of the Mavs lineup.

As ESPNDallas.com’s Jeff Caplan points out, it was Chandler stepping up to have a monster Game 4 in the middle that set the table for the late-game heroics of Dirk and Jet:

In the first NBA Finals appearance of his 10-year career, Chandler has saved his most ferocious basketball for the Miami Heat’s dynamic duo. In fact, the three prior teams with which Chandler toiled had never advanced past the second round of the playoffs.

His monstrous 13-point, 16-rebound effort in the Mavericks’ 86-83 victory in Game 4 on Tuesday night was mandatory, what with Nowitzki under the weather, ailing backup center Brendan Haywood unable to stay in the game and coach Rick Carlisle gambling with an altered starting lineup.

It could go down as a defining performance in this incredibly competitive series that is now deadlocked heading into Game 5 on Thursday night in Dallas.

No team — ever — has rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals. And, with a helping hand from Chandler, the Mavs don’t have to try to become the first.

“It was all about effort,” Chandler said. “We knew that it was going to be a tough night … with the lineup change and then the way Dirk was feeling. We were going to have to step up and we were going to have to do whatever it took to get the win. I knew my guys would need more shots tonight, so I tried to crash the boards as well as get out in the lane and run and get some easy baskets.”

Chandler’s role as rebounder and opportunity scorer around the hoop increased in Game 4 when Haywood couldn’t contribute his usual backup minutes and Nowitzki was ailing. The Mavs used him far more than usual in pick-and-roll situations and it paid off big.

What the Mavs have been able to do with Chandler that the Sixers, Celtics and Bulls could not in the previous rounds of the playoffs is to take advantage of the undersized 6-foot-9 Joel Anthony in the middle of the Heat lineup.

None of this might have happened if the Thunder hadn’t gotten cold feet about a trade that would have delivered Chandler to Oklahoma City back on Feb. 17, 2009. One day later, the Thunder rescinded the trade after their medical staff expressed concerns about a toe injury.

Of course, if the trade had stuck, it could have turned the fortunes of the Thunder and the Mavs. Surely, Chandler wouldn’t be at center for the Mavs. But it doesn’t necessarily follow that he would have been doing battle against them in the Western Conference finals in the earlier round. Because if OKC had kept Chandler, chances are they wouldn’t have brought Serge Ibaka into the mix, traded for Kendrick Perkins or re-signed Nick Collison.

And according to our friend Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman, Chandler still believes it was only dollars that made sense of blowing up the trade:

“I honestly feel it had more to do with the salary,” Chandler told The Oklahoman on Wednesday. “Because when I looked at it, it just didn’t make sense…I just didn’t see that being that big of an issue. It all seemed fishy, to be honest with you.”

Whatever the motivation, the Mavs are certainly reaping the benefits from a guy who was then swapped to Charlotte and then became a cast-off of the going-in-circles Bobcats. In his nine previous NBA seasons, he had never been past the semifinals; now, he could be the key to The Finals.

The Mavs need Dirk to be Dirk and Jet to be Jet to be themselves. But right now, they also need Chandler to become champions.

33 Comments

  1. MAVS ALL THE WAY! says:

    I GUESS HEAT FAN DOESNT KNOW WHAT HAPPEND WHEN WADE TOUCHED THE BALL IN THE 2006 FINALS!!! WHAT GAME ARE U WATCHING? WE ARE CAPITALIZING IN THE 4TH QUARTER SUMTHIN THE HEAT DONT KNOW HOW TO DO. AND CHANDLER IS A MAJOR DIFFERENCE MAKER (JUST SAYIN). HEAT FAN STOP BEING A SISSY AND STOP TRYNA MAKE EXCUSSES!!! MAVS ALL THA WAY BOI!!! OR IN UR CASE GIRL!!!!!! HA!

  2. ReDirkulous says:

    HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA you have no idea

  3. heat fan says:

    if calling foult every time they going under the basket is playing basketball then dallas is going to win the finals .cus thats all they do is going after the foult that way they could hit the two free point thats the only way they have gone this far they are no basketball player. they play derty . and they are nothing but a bunsh of crying babys . sorry but thats the truth…………..GO HEAT ALL THE WAY

  4. Joex_dvo.city philippines says:

    Go Mavz!! BEAT the HEAT!!! GAme5 win!!!!

  5. gtosh says:

    “It’s been obvious all season long that Miami has no dominant center,”
    –> very true. if you watch game 4 again, you can see the little tricks chandler does that nobody else’s been doing, like:
    when bosh guards tc, and when someone else drives and bosh tries to give help defense, chandler pushes him a little bit, creating space for chandler for the easy rebound. this should easily be recognized by a legit center or power forward and boxed him out. but no.

    “, and the Heat is in real danger.”
    –> this is overstating it. the mavs have real matchup problems. they cant guard wade, the way he’s playing. they tried every player on him, more doubles, but wade still scores on em. i can say the same thing on dirk though.
    but the real problem is when lbj breaks through his issues. nobody in the league can guard him at all.

    and by the way, every single team in the nba has weak positions, but that doesn’t mean they can’t win championships. the real indicators always has been

    talent,
    team preparation,
    and
    mental toughness.

    these are what it takes to win championhships. always has been. and not “oh they are weak here, they are in serious trouble now”.

  6. cool aid says:

    I think Mavs want it more, but the heat will take it, too much talent.

  7. Paeng says:

    It’s been obvious all season long that Miami has no dominant center, and only the Big Three are bringing wins for the team. It’s a wonder the weak spot underneath the basket was not exploited by other teams. Now, Dallas has seen the chink in Miami’s armor. This presents a real threat to Miami’s run for the title. I think the Mavs are going to maximize their advantage in the center position, and the Heat is in real danger.

  8. Rai says:

    Dont forget Jason Kidd, even though he is not scoring and having too much turnovers. It is all bcoz of his defensive task sin the Playoffs began. Guarding Kobe, Durant, Westbrook, and now guarding Lebron or Wade. But I also wish that he would also have a better offensive game tonight. Go Kidd and Go Mavs!

  9. wangotango says:

    Tyson Chandler has become my favorite NBA player to watch. He is the glue that holds the Mavs together. Cuban better start getting his wallet out if he intends to keep him, especially if the Mavs win the Championship.

  10. Jacob says:

    IF HE’S PLAYING THERE CHANCES ARE 100 OF 100, WITHOUT HIM THERE CHANCES ARE 2 OF 100! THEY NEED HIM TO WIN!

  11. WF says:

    The Mav deserve to win this year. Besides Dirk, Jason Terry, Tyson Chandler, there’s another unsung hero, Marion, whose tireless work at both ends of the floor is very obvious — And other people are also contributing. Never been a Mavs fan before. But I think they more deserve a championship this year than the 3 men Heat.

  12. mavsfan says:

    tyson chandler is the man…did you see the sick dunk he had where he posterized dwyane wade (a guard) with a 2 handed power dunk and then landed on his feet?

    • David says:

      Did you See when Wade Blocked Him? Its not hard for a 7 footer to dunk on a Guard but for a Guard to block a center is

    • bob says:

      did you see the sick block by wade where he posterized ty. now it’s even 2-2.

    • Heat ALL Day says:

      Did you see the SICK BLOCK that Wade had on a guy that has 9 inches on him? blaaaahahahahahahahaha

  13. Chris says:

    Let’s see if this pick and roll with Chandler is, what gets Dallas over the hump in these finals. They found a way to “kill” the Lakers defense with high picks for J.J. Barea, they realized nobody on the Thunder team could stop Dirk from scoring. Now maybe that’s the one thing the Heat can’t defend!

  14. Kenneth says:

    Many thanks to him, Dallas is not a soft team anymore. He’s the one responsible for all the dirty works inside.

  15. gtosh says:

    im a heat fan, but i just saw what chandler did in game 4… really a monster game.

    the stats proved it, and the little things that chandler did, that’s what i wanted to see
    in heat’s big men, but no.

  16. Kazzy says:

    Brian Scalabrine for Finals MVP

  17. D-mavs says:

    Im loving Tysons energy in these finals and if he can keep control of the boards we can take these Heat to the dumpsters

  18. Go Go Go Mavs says:

    The good guys will prevail and always win. Heat are cocky cheaters. It’s a disgrace if the Heat win and I along with many will probably never watch the NBA again if so… Mavs are a true team and Dirk is one of the nicest guys on the planet. They’ve paid there dues from the up and down and deserve to be called NBA Champions. Let’s go MAVS!!!

    • Heat ALL Day says:

      Hey guess what buddy the HEAT HAVE PAID THEIR DUES TOO!! Lebron 7 ridiculously tough years with the Cavs mediocre supporting cast, Wade with 1 title with Shaq but the rest of his years he spent in playoff turmoil, and Bosh also never got past the first round with the Raptors.

      Yea the HEAT trio have PAID their due boi!

      You can’t STOP the L-Train!!!

      • Rai says:

        Hey, they Heat trio did not paid there dues! They just cheated! Jordan did, magic did, and the Celtics Big 3 did! Jordan didnt looked for a partner from other team, Pippen and the other Bulls legends are nothing if he didnt believe on them like what Lebron did to his team mates in cleveland. His team mates there are not mediocre, its just that they cannot play the way they play bcoz they have to play the Lebron way. Magic had his first championship without Jabar due to an injury and even if, Jabar is in his twilight yrs already. Just like the Big 3 of the Celtics, they joined forces bcoz they are already reaching their twilight yrs. Unlike the cowards of Heat, primary Bosh and Lebron with the exception of Wade. The 2 of the Big 3 are chokers! That is why the 2 always disappears in the end game. That is why 2 out of 3 close games are won by the Mavs! Go Mavs!

    • Kevin C says:

      Go MAVS!@!! That’s right they deserve to win it all in NBA Finals 2011!!

  19. LAmikeLA says:

    lets go mavs, get a lead and KEEP it!

  20. Trenton says:

    LETS GO MAVS! Way to go Tys

  21. ron says:

    GO MAVS,
    This is your year!
    Heart and good old fashioned grit over entitlement
    loyalty over buying yourself a championship and disrespecting NBA Fans.
    Mavs over Heat

  22. DIRK'S REVENGE!!! says:

    Time to STEP UP CHANDLER!!!

    Let’s see some more OF THOSE DUNKS and PUTBACKS TONIGHT!!!

    GO MAVS!!!

  23. Mavs the Champions! says:

    Tyson Chandler is the biggest man on the floor in this championship series, his energy ios so high that it carries the team even dirk is out on game for, if this continues, there is no doubt that Mavs will win the Finals http://sportales.com/basketball/nba-mythical-five-of-all-time/

  24. unknown... says:

    i agree, people should start giving props to Chandler too. he’s playing with all his heart especially after what happened to Haywood.

  25. wangsio says:

    Go Mavs..!!!!.. win it all