Wilson Chandler Must Play More for the Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets capped off a great week with a home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The week also included wins over the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. It was a week that showed that the Nuggets could very well be a factor in the Western Conference Playoffs.
The three wins this past week also showed something else, Wilson Chandler has to play more.
Outside of Ty Lawson, Chandler has been the Nuggets best player for a couple of weeks now and was unstoppable versus the Thunder. He finished with a season high 35 points and hit big shot after big shot. Every time the Thunder made a run to get close to the Nuggets, Chandler buried a jumper to reestablish the momentum for his team.
Chandler’s performance on Friday night was only the latest example of his stellar play. The Nuggets are a better team when he is on the floor. During Danilo Gallinari’s absence due to injury, Chandler stepped into the starting lineup and the offense for the Nuggets took off.
Chandler’s shot is much more consistent than Gallinari’s and his effort does not waiver. Gallinari is great one night and invisible the next night. It’s one thing to have an off night shooting the ball, but Gallinari’s effort is too up and down.
With Chandler, the Nuggets know they are going to get a supreme effort every night and he is simply more of a threat on the offensive side of the floor. The Nuggets have won four straight and during that streak Chandler has been their best player.
NBA coaches are loyal to their starting lineup, sometimes to a fault, but Chandler has to play more than Gallinari going forward. If George Karl wants to continue to start Gallinari, fine, but Chandler should get more minutes and be on the floor when the game is on the line.
When the Nuggets traded Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, most people believed that Gallinari was the main piece coming back for the Nuggets. That might end up being the case over the long-term, but right now Chandler is the best part of that trade for the Nuggets.
The Nuggets have put themselves in a position to do some damage down the stretch and in the playoffs, but if they are going to be a factor, Chandler has to be on the court.
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