It’s been a year of ups and downs for the Knicks, which really hasn’t been all bad considering that when Tyson Chandler jumps up and down it often ends in a excellent defensive play. According to the Associated Press, Tyson Chandler was rewarded for his defensive activity when he was selected for the 2012 Defensive Player Of The Year award.
Chandler’s presence in the paint changed the Knicks from a defensive sieve to a team that could shut teams down with concentrated effort.
Chandler’s acquisition met some criticism because he was a surprise signing while the Knicks were supposedly working on a trade for Chris Paul, who was commonly seen as the missing piece for the Knicks. Chandler joining Stoudemire and Anthony created a real “Big Three,” perhaps the best front line in the NBA this season, but it was a while before they played like they were a top of the line trio.
Chandler’s stats — 11.3 points, 10 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game and a significant reduction in opponents’ points in the paint, points per game and opposig field goal percentage compared to last year — don’t tell the entire story. The center’s arrival changed the Knicks’ culture even while Mike D’Antoni attempted to implement his offensive focused schemes. Chandler’s presence, along with D’Antoni’s departure, encouraged the other stars to play defense and allowed the team to take advantage of the defensive mindsets of rookie Iman Shumpert, free agent acquisition from China, J.R. Smith and last year’s defensive glue player, Jared Jeffries when they were not injured.
The Chandler signing (along with the Jeremy Lin, Steve Novak and JR Smith signings) may be reason enough to consider Glen Grunwald one of the top NBA executives of the year, don’t you think?