Tyson Chandler's Defensive Player of the Year Win Gives Knicks Much-Needed Boost
According to ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley, Chandler will soon be named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year, and for good reason. He is perhaps the single biggest reason the Knicks are in the playoffs.
Chandler has helped transform New York from the 22nd-ranked team in defensive efficiency (a measure of points allowed per 100 possessions) to the fifth.
He averaged 1.4 blocks and 9.9. rebounds per game this season, and helped the Knicks achieve NBA-best marks in points in the paint (32.3) and scoring by opposing centers (14.3), according the Star-Ledger's Alex Raskin.
Chandler's winning the award breaks Dwight Howard's three-year run of domination.
The league's official announcement is expected on Wednesday afternoon, and if (or when) Chandler wins, he will become the first Knick to ever win the award.
Is Tyson Chandler enough to get the Knicks a win in Game 3?
Though the Knicks are currently down 2-0 to the Heat in their first-round playoff series—and, without Iman Shumpert and Amar'e Stoudamire, look primed for a sweep—Chandler represents the one bright spot on the horizon.
With him as a centerpiece of the Knicks' defense for at least the next three years, things are looking up for New York.
Interim head coach Mike Woodson recognizes the overwhelming effect Chandler has had on the team's defense this season. He told Begley:
He's done everything to put us in the position where we are today. You don't find very many centers that [are] committed like he is, don't have any hidden agendas. You know, it's not about Tyson Chandler, it's always about the team and, you know, that speaks volumes.
That unselfishness and commitment to winning is precisely what will keep New York on the map for the next several years.
The announcement couldn't have come at a better time for the reeling Knicks, who—until now—have had nothing to focus on except for the fact that they'll be without Stoudemire for Game 3 against the Heat because he lacerated his hand by punching a fire extinguisher after the team's Game 2 loss.
Perhaps the announcement will even give New York the boost it needs to snag a win at home in Game 3. At least there will be one defensive superstar desperately committed to making it happen.
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