Breaking Down What Tyson Chandler Can Learn from Marcus Camby

Stephen Babb@@StephenBabbFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2012

22 Apr 2001:  Marcus Camby #23 of the New York Knicks celebrates a victory over the Toronto Raptors at the end of game 1 of round one in the NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.  The Knicks defeated the Raptors 92-85.  DIGITAL IMAGE.  Mandatory Credit: Ezra O. Shaw/Allsport
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The New York Knicks may not have secured a superstar point guard this summer, but they did add a few solid role players along with veterans Jason Kidd and Marcus Camby.

Kidd will undoubtedly lend a wealth of knowledge to Mike Woodson's offense, but Camby will make some intangible contributions of his own.

Of course we know all too well by now that Amar'e Stoudemire could use some remedial defensive lessons, but even reigning Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler could learn a thing or two from Camby–albeit maybe only a thing or two.

After all, Camby was Defensive Player of the Year back in 2007. He's twice been named to the All-Defensive First Team and led the league in blocked shots four times.

And as good as Chandler's been on the defensive end, he's never averaged more than 1.8 blocks in a season and averages just 1.4 in his career. Though Camby averaged 1.4 last season (in relatively limited minutes), he's collected 2.4 blocks a game in his career, averaging over three a game in five different seasons.

Camby's ability to anticipate reaching for the ball has been instrumental to his success protecting the rim, an instinct you certainly see in Anthony Davis. Camby hasn't had Davis-like athleticism for a while now, though, so he's relied even more on his skills at timing his jumps and reaches.

It's one of the skills that's also made Camby a phenomenal rebounder. The 38-year-old pulled down 15.7 boards per 40 minutes last season, a pretty incredible rate at any age.

He's averaged double-digit rebounds 10 times over the course of his career, something Chandler's done just twice.

Though he has good length, that certainly doesn't explain why he's been more effective swatting shots than Chander who actually has a couple of inches on Camby.

In fairness to Chandler, Camby's done a lot of his damage from the weak side because he really isn't the best post-defender in the world. Chandler is so good at keeping big men off the block. His focus is less on roaming around for opportunities to intimidate shots.

That also explains in part why Chandler, who's the better offensive rebounder of the two, has been out-rebounded by Camby on the defensive end by an average of 1.2 boards.

Chandler might just be asked to serve a slightly different role in which he's more often asked to stay home on his defensive assignment. He's also less likely to leave his feet and prefers to challenge shots without risking a foul called on him or biting on a pump fake.

In other words, yes, Chandler can take some things from Camby's game, but that's not necessarily a one-way street. 

In reality, neither Chandler nor Camby will make much of an impact on the offensive end, at least not directly.

That's Stoudemire's job.

But Camby also ranks as one of the better passers among centers, and that will be especially important in New York given the opportunities for high-low post play with Amar'e Stoudemire attacking the basket.

He's never been a prolific passer by any means, but he has averaged at least three assists per game in three different seasons. Chandler, in contrast, has averaged a career-high one assist per game in three different seasons.

Of course some of that is due to circumstantial factors, but there's no question that Camby's the better passer of the two.

Chandler will never become some kind of point-center, but everyone has to do their part on this team.

New York doesn't have an elite point guard, at least one who's still in his prime. New York also has many guys—like Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith—who are a lot better at shooting than they are at passing.

It certainly wouldn't hurt if Chandler could play the role of facilitator on occasion.

These two big men will make each other better, and they'll make each other's lives easier. Chandler won't have to worry quite so much about foul trouble, and Camby won't have to worry about conserving energy.

And they're combined 27 seasons of experiences defending the painted area (and doing so with exceptional results) will give the Knicks an absolutely formidable frontline. If there was ever an opportunity for this team to solidify its reputation on the defensive end, this is it.