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Tyson Chandler: Positives Abound

Tyson Chandler was big again tonight, helping the Mavericks to their fifth straight win and just generally being too much for Miami to handle on the glass. Rick Carlisle has to manage two centers, and while his initial minute distribution seemed to make sense, 30+ minutes seem to agree with Chandler (to Brendan Haywood's chagrin).

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In the second, third and fourth games of a four-game-in-five-days stretch - and a challenging one at that, with games in San Antonio and Oklahoma City preceding Miami's visit - Chandler has played 35, 32 and 36 minutes, with an average line of 17 points (including 22-28 from the line) and 14 rebounds. Those numbers greatly exceed his per-minute numbers over the entire season, and he was a problem for opponents on the defensive end, as he has been all year. 

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Before this stretch Chandler had exceeded 30 minutes just once this season, a 12 point (5-5 shooting), 13 rebound game in an 89-87 win over Boston. I'm fine with Carlisle managing minutes and attempting to keep Haywood's head straight once he's back in good graces, but it seems pretty clear that this team is a lot better with Chandler in the game, and these three games in four days are an excellent sign that his legs can handle that load down the stretch and in the playoffs, when the Mavs will be wise to use him heavily.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.