The New York Knicks believe that Carmelo Anthony may have finally become the type of superstar that will be capable of carrying their explosive team to an NBA Championship. Anthony is putting together one of the finest offensive seasons in his career, and the second seed Knicks are firing on all cylinders with a chemistry that appears to finally work.
Although Anthony is providing some of the strongest offensive performances in the league, the success of the New York Knicks has a lot more to do with Glen Grunwald putting together a team of players that greatly complement Anthony's style of play. Grunwald found the perfect All-Star partner for Anthony in the form of a 30-year-old, 7'1" center that focuses on dominating the paint and taking advantage of every opportunity with or without the ball.
This perfect teammate for Carmelo Anthony is none other than the reigning Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler. The dominating center helps to make up for many of Anthony's deficiencies on the court, including the area that most critics attack Anthony for most often, defense.
Chandler has been a great presence in the paint this year, providing strong defensive support that have left opposing front courts unable to fight their way to the rim and find consistent good looks. According to TeamRankings.com, the Knicks currently rank tenth in the league for opponent's points in the paint, which has been the result of Chandler's defensive intensity often forcing teams away from the basket.
Perhaps a more important quality than Chandler's affinity towards defense is his ability to be extremely effective on offense without the ball in his hands. Chandler is an extremely effective pick and roll player, and his ability to provide strong screens gives his teammates an opportunity for consistent open looks.
In addition, Chandler is one of the best rebounders in the NBA, pulling down 11.2 rebounds per game, which greatly decreases the number of second-chance points opponents can score, as well as provide additional opportunities for his own team. In fact, Chandler is currently leading the league with 4.5 offensive rebounds per game by grabbing 15.1 percent of rebounds available on the offensive glass, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
With Carmelo Anthony dominating the ball for most of the game, it is impressive that Chandler is still capable of averaging 11.5 points per game. However this number becomes even more impressive when you realize that Chandler only takes 6.4 shots per game and converts 4.3 of them. This translates to a ridiculous 67 percent field-goal percentage, which puts him a full 6.6 percent higher than any other player in the NBA.
Chandler's incredible efficiency and his desire to contribute by doing all of the little things necessary to win are what make him the perfect complement to Carmelo Anthony's style of play. In fact these attributes are what make him one of the best team players in the NBA. Not only is he capable of pushing the Knicks closer to title contention, he perfectly embodies the type of team player that any franchise would be lucky to add to their roster.
A player that isn't looking to lead the team in points scored or make headlines, but rather will stop at nothing to give everything the team needs to win. Tyson Chandler's team first attitude is one of the key reasons that the New York Knicks have found such strong chemistry on their team, and a player of his style could be the key to one day bringing a championship to the Knicks.