Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/8/13
For so long, Wilson Chandler has seemed to provide only a glimpse of his vast talents, like the tattoo of his daughter that peeks above the neckline of his jersey. Chandler did it all at DePaul — which could have been a pretty cool title for a player of the year campaign. (“Wilson Chandler does it all, at DePaul! Sponsored by Nike!”) But he never led the Blue Demons beyond anything better than also-ran status in the Big East. His team was knocked out in the first round of the 2007 Big East Tournament, better known as “the four days when Jeff Green went into beast mode,” and Chandler left school after DePaul was bounced in the NIT. When the Knicks snatched him in the middle of the first round in that year’s draft, Chandler was not so different from dozens of other athletic, 6-foot-8 ‘tweeners trying to distinguish themselves in the pros. His timing was impeccable, though. The NBA was about to go all-in on the “stretch-four” phenomenon, and lighter, faster, smaller power forwards were suddenly in high demand. A wing player for his first three years in New York, Chandler’s role and position transformed quickly when the Nuggets acquired him as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade. Now, Chandler has added another element of danger to an already scarily deep Denver squad. After battling with the aftereffects of hip surgery early in the season, Chandler has recovered well in the last 26 games. As Thursday’s dunk on Matt Barnes demonstrated, the fast and fearsome Nuggets are only getting better now that Chandler has found his stride. “Wilson has helped us win two or three already this year,” Nuggets coach George Karl told The Denver Post last week. Whoever invented the concept of the new-age backup forward drew up Chandler, gazed at the portrait longingly and then threw away the rendering in disgust because it was an unrealistic ideal. With his long arms, Chandler can disrupt passing lanes on defense, but any tall, lanky guy could do that. He can stretch defenses with his 3-point shooting, but the league is filled with spot-up shooters. With his speed and vertical leap, he could be an excellent finisher, but many high-fliers have never made it off the bench in the NBA. What sets Chandler apart from the likes of Ryan Anderson and Jared Jeffries is that, at times, he is capable of filling both their roles in one body. He is neither an elite shooter nor an elite defender — nor is Anderson or Jeffries, respectively — although he is having an abnormally effective season shooting-wise. His effective field goal percentage (which weights in favor of 3-pointers due to their being worth 50 percent more than a regular field goal) will not stay 13 points above the league average the entire season, but history shows that he will be a reliably above-average shooter when threes are taken into account. Karl makes use of un-prototypical players as well as any coach in history, and since Chandler returned from injury Karl has had a blast putting his new toy to use. On alternating possessions against the Celtics in early February, Chandler blocked a shot and then helped bring up the ball to initiate the offense. Against the Thunder, Karl alternated shutdown defender Andre Iguodala and the longer Chandler on Kevin Durant, helping the Nuggets steal a last-second win. This sort of versatility is not unique to Chandler on Denver’s roster, and it is what makes the Nuggets so potentially dangerous in the postseason. They will have a matchup advantage somewhere on the court, regardless of whom they play against, and the depth to keep that advantage even when the second unit comes in. No one has ever been attacked by five wolves, staved them off, and then been thankful when a second group of five wolves arrived. Playing the Nuggets must be sort of like that. If Danilo Gallinari is going off, the other team cannot count on relief when Gallo goes to the bench, because Chandler is on the way. The same follows with Ty Lawson and Andre Miller, Kosta Koufos and JaVale McGee, Iguodala and Corey Brewer. The Nuggets play like a pack of wolves, which interestingly enough if one of the few things Chandler does not have a tattoo of. The lack of inked-up imagery does not take away from the sentiment, however, now that Chandler’s abilities are coming into full view. Have a question for Ben Watanabe? Send it to him via Twitter at @BenjeeBallgame or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Utah beats Michigan 24-17, ruins Jim Harbaugh’s debut

Patriots keep Tom Brady excitement close to vest

Wayne happy about Brady verdict: 'That's my quarterback'

Markieff Morris on Twitter: ‘My future will not be in Phoenix’

Jonathan Kraft on asking for draft picks: 'Never say never'

Redskins charge non-season ticket holders $50 to use will call

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Arthur Blank on Roger Goodell: ‘Change may be appropriate’

Belichick gives typical reply to question about Brady's freedom

Goodell not attending season opener at Gillette Stadium

Jakub Voracek will donate $1,000 for every point he scores

Dwayne Bowe reportedly in danger of being cut by Browns

Slava Voynov taken into custody by U.S Immigration

Tim Tebow shines in Eagles’ final preseason game

Minnesota loses against TCU, but shows it belongs

Minnesota loses against TCU, but shows it belongs

Trevone Boykin’s Heisman bid off to rocky start against Minnesota

Michigan lost their opener, but showed signs of improvement

Aaron Rodgers on Brady ruling: ‘It’s a good day for the players’

Jim Harbaugh uses Seahawks play card and Seattle loves it

First drive of Jim Harbaugh Era in Michigan ends in interception

Redskins fan who named son after RG3: ‘I don’t regret it at all’

Freshmen to watch in Week 1 of college football

Early returns on Manny Machado, MLB shortstop

Judge Berman offered free coffee for life

Conor McGregor insults Jose Aldo, plans move to lightweight

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Five unique CFB games to watch this weekend

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Ryan taking leap of faith with Bills

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker