The Nuggets are sitting in a bit of a basketball limbo. Being 4-5 on the road and 3-5 at home, Denver has started a tad mediocre and displays lots of room for improvement. However, there have still been flashes of greatness in the season so far, from Emmanuel Mudiay’s improvement on turnovers, Jamal Murray leading all rookies in 3-pointers made, and just about everything Wilson Chandler has been doing the past few weeks. There were a lot of question marks around Chandler, especially since missing the entire 2015-16 NBA season due to a groin injury during last year’s NBA preseason.
Chandler has been balling like a madman the past few weeks and if you haven’t seen the Nuggets play recently, his numbers certainly tell the same story. He’s averaging 18.3 points and 7.7 rebounds for the season; 20 points and 8.8 rebounds per game if you go by the last 10 games. Chandler put up 25 points, 3 steals, and 8 boards in the Nugs' away win against Phoenix on Sunday the 27th, and 32 points with 11 boards in Denver’s overtime home loss to Oklahoma City. This was the first time in his career that he scored at least 25 points in back to back nights. His PER rating of 18.67 shows he’s more than capable of being a large portion of this Nuggets team that is still trying to definitively find themselves.
Since missing 2 games in early November, Chandler is now averaging 31.77 minutes per game, 6 of those 9 games were played with 30 minutes or more. In that time span, only against Utah once, Chicago, and at Detroit did Chandler shoot less than 40% from the field. He is bringing intensity to every rotation he is a part of and has obviously been the best Nugget on the roster for a few weeks now. Oh, did anyone mention Chandler isn’t starting? That’s pretty important, he’s bringing all this intensity off of the bench right now.
I’ve always loved Wilson Chandler. There are stories that you hear about him that just make you feel he’s a great guy; He reportedly removes his hat when initially meeting new people or people with seniority over him, which is something you just don’t see anymore nowadays. He is often spotted staying late at practices and repeatedly helped the Nuggets franchise out immensely for practices during his injury last year. The dude seems like one of the good people, which isn’t traditionally what you associate with NBA players.