Tyson Chandler must limit foul troubles
"He's got to be active for us and he knows that. We need him out there chest-pumping himself and hyping up the crowd and that's what he's been doing for us all season long," Nowitzki said. "We need him vocal in the huddles, out there pushing everybody around, getting everybody in the right spots because he's our anchor defensively. If he keeps playing like [in Game 5] with the energy and his aggressiveness I think he's going to be OK."
Nowitzki left out one important item. Chandler must stay out of foul trouble. Chandler, who has been susceptible to quick fouls, including and fouls out on the perimeter defensively and bad timing coming off screens offensively, had just one called against him in the first of Game 5.
He picked up a couple in the third, but managed to enter the fourth quarter with just three fouls, plenty of room for him to remain aggressive defensively against LaMarcus Aldridge and offensively battling for position to grab offensive rebounds. He hauled in 13 of those in Game 5, a franchise playoff record and the most for any NBA player in the playoffs since Shaquille O'Neal back in 1995.
In Game 3 in Portland, Chandler lasted less than 16 minutes and fouled out with two points and four rebounds. He finished with fouls in Game 4 and just six points and seven rebounds in nearly 30 minutes.
Contrast that to his 14-point, 20-rebound outing in Game 6 when he said he just played and stopped thinking about whistles, and the production is like night and day.
So has Chandler figured out how he's going to be called from game to game and how he can maintain an aggressive, energetic posture without succumbing to fouls?
"I've tried to avoid fouls in any way possible and I've gotten fouls and I've even fouled out trying to avoid fouls," Chandler said. "It's just really about -- I've really been thinking about it -- sticking to my principles, being aggressive. A lot of times the refs will reward the guys trying to be aggressive and play solid defense without getting the ticky-tack. I've been getting a lot of moving screens, getting fouls off the ball. I try to limit those so the fouls I get I'm at least being aggressive."
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