When Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari beat the Denver Nuggets [VIDEO]

Shortly after the big trade last August, we took a look back at a game in which Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller had helped the Philadelphia 76ers defeat the Denver Nuggets. Now it’s time for a similar retrospective of a game from a period when Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari were playing some of the best basketball of their careers: the first half of the 2010-11 season. The date was December 12, 2010, and the New York Knicks beat the Nuggets 129-125 just months before the Carmelo Anthony trade.

My main purpose in choosing this game is that it’s one of Chandler’s all-time best. Unfortunately, between injuries and his decision to play most of last season in China, we’ve had only a limited opportunity to see what Wilson can contribute to this Nuggets team when he’s fully healthy and really hitting his stride. In this game we can see what’s pretty much a best-case-scenario-Chandler, especially in terms of shooting and defense. He went 10-17, including 5-9 from the arc, with seven rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block. A huge part of the reason Denver lost was that Melo took 27 shots but only made 11 of them, and that was due in no small part to the defensive efforts of Gallo and Chandler, some of which can be seen in this video.

The bottom line is that if this is the Wilson Chandler who shows up this season, and especially if the point guards can set him up for easy, open spot-up buckets as effectively as Raymond Felton does in this game (though granted, they were admittedly playing against Denver’s perimeter defense), he will soon prove to be a significant upgrade over Al Harrington on both the offensive and defensive ends, provided that he can return to full health. And if he truly recovers that spark in his game which he really hasn’t had since leaving the Knicks, he definitely has a legitimate chance of making some noise in both the Most Improved Player and 6th Man discussions.

A final thought: It’s really hard to get over how completely this Nuggets team has changed in so little time. This game was less than two years ago, and it already seems like ancient history. Shelden Williams and Gary Forbes just about says it all.

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Joel is a long time Denver Nuggets (and Broncos) fan from Colorado who's been living in Japan since the mid-90s, and blogging about the Nuggets since 2008. You can contact and follow him on Twitter: @denbutsu.
  • Poz_303

    Ahhhh, would be nice to see both Gallo and Ill will hit those shots for the Nuggets this season.

  • Daniel

    While I will miss Al Harrington, I will not miss his interior defense. What a mess he was at the 5 on defense.

  • Kalen

    Great work Joel. This is awesome.

    What stands out to me is the defense, especially the blocks from Gallo and Chandler. Both of those defensive plays sparked energy which was then transformed to offense.

    It’s clear that Chandler has lots of potential. Now if he could just figure out how to realize it…

  • eddi0

    This was one of the games that I first started noticing Chandler and the reason why I feel like he has a higher ceiling than Gallo. If Gallo cannot shoot at decent %, either on FG% or 3pt% he becomes a one-sided player who can primarily just draw fouls on the offensive end. Chandler obviously has the capability to create his shot and be a spot up shooter plus play good “d”. Time will tell if WChand get back to (or improve upon) this kind of effort against the Nugs but I see him as more valuable with the more palatable contract. My forecast for 2012-2013 season is that one of the two will be shipped out before the trade deadline with Mozzie for a bigger starting PF (moving Faried to bench).

  • Jeff

    I dig the jammy fusion soundtrack. Who is this? I met Victor Wooten over the summer, he’s a really nice guy.

    • Jeff

      Nevermind, just saw it’s Stanley Clarke.

  • njasdjdh

    [4] Knicks fan here, I think (and have always thought) Gallo has the higher ceiling than Chandler. The primary reason being that Chandler is actually terrible at creating his own shot and/or drawing fouls. I also always felt Chandler’s defense was overrated and Gallo’s underrated.

  • eolson

    Would love to see that level of play on a consistent basis from either of them… fingers crossed for health