This run with Team USA, which Tyson Chandler hopes takes him all the way to Turkey for the World Championships, could be just the thing the the 7-foot-1 center stung by injuries the past two seasons needs to jumpstart his upcoming season with the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavs will like what they saw Saturday night out of their bearded center as Chandler scored 13 points and added nine rebounds in the first Team USA scrimmage in Las Vegas. Chandler's White team, lead by Kevin Durant''s 28 points, ousted the Blue squad, 114-96. Chandler was 6-of-6 from the floor, mostly throwing down two-handed jams.
Chandler, who ran the floor well and showed the Team USA brass what it really wanted to see with four blocked shots in some 20 minutes of action, appears to be a lock to move on with the 15 players who will make Monday's expected first cut and continue on with training camp in New York. He's also likely the favorite to make the team because the center pool is extraordinarily thin with just New Jersey's Brook Lopez and Washington's JaVale McGee, who's is coming off a strong summer-league showing, involved in the Team USA training camp. Reports out of Las Vegas suggest that all three centers could be moving on to New York.
Chandler told NBA.com Thursday that he likes how he's progressing. He missed 68 games the past two years due to ankle injuries.
"I had a great summer, as far as training," Chandler said. "But coming here in basketball shape is totally different. So the last couple of days I've been able to get my legs under me. And every day I've progressed."
Assuming Chandler moves on to New York, he'll play against two of his new teammates on Aug. 15 when Team USA takes on France at Madison Square Garden. Mavs guard Roddy Beaubois and free-agent center pickup Ian Mahinmi play for the French squad.
The FIBA World Championships begin on Aug. 28 in Turkey.