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Tyson Chandler on Kevin Love: ‘He can’t play D’

Mar 6, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

With the Minnesota Timberwolves frequently going small and the New York Knicks frequently going big Wednesday, Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love often guarded each other.

During a halftime interview, a reporter asked Chandler about the relatively quirky matchup (hat tip: Royce Young of Eye on Basketball).

  • Reporter: “With the mismatch with Kevin Love, what are some of the challenges, and some of the ways you’re taking advantage?”
  • Chandler: He can stretch the floor so well. So, we’ve got to do a better job of closing out.”
  • Reporter: “How are you taking advantage of it then?
  • Chandler: “Huh?”
  • Reporter: “How can you take advantage of the mismatch on your end?”
  • Chandler: “Oh. Go at him. He can’t play D.”

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Love has actually improved considerably defensively since gaining a reputation for struggling on that end early in his career. But Wednesday’s loss to the Knicks – and an admittedly difficult matchup with Chandler – sure didn’t prove his growth.

Chandler shot 5-for-5 on plays Love guarded him,* including  a couple wide-open dunks when Love got caught in the middle on pick-and-roll coverage.

On the other end, Love shot just 4-for-11 – though he made 3-of-5 3-pointers – with Chandler guarding him.*

*Approximately, depending on your interpretation of a few plays. Today’s help-heavy NBA defenses often don’t lend themselves to saying who guarded whom.

Chandler and Love share a bond that dates back to when Love was in sixth grade. So, I think Chandler’s comments were mostly in good fun.

And what fun they were! Every halftime interview should feature a player or coach insulting someone on the other team.

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