Chandler Recognized For His Impact

GREENBURGH, NY — The New York Knicks were the fifth-best defensive team this season. Yes, the Knicks!

This is a franchise that had ranked in the bottom 10 defensively each of the last seven years and hadn’t ranked higher than 15th since 2001. And somehow, with offense-only stars like Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, the Knicks vaulted from 21st in defensive efficiency last season to fifth this season.

The biggest reason? Tyson Chandler.

That’s why Chandler, even though he ranked 19th in blocked shots per game, was voted the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

“It’s simply because I’m able to get a lot out of my teammates and play a team game,” Chandler said. “I try not to gamble much and I try to do the right things defensively. And I’m just glad that it was recognized and hopefully, it takes us further as a team.”

After joking that he couldn’t have won the award with his teammates’ “poor defense,” Chandler seriously gave credit to his teammates for “buying in” defensively. And obviously, one man can’t defend five by himself. The Knicks do have other solid defenders like Iman Shumpert, Landry Fields and Jared Jeffries. Still, there’s no question that Chandler is largely responsible for the Knicks’ defensive improvement.

“He’s the perfect fit in terms of what I look for in a defensive center,” Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said.

And this isn’t the first time Chandler has made an impact on his new team. In fact, it’s the third straight year that he’s gone to a new team and helped them improve defensively.

The Chandler Effect, last three seasons

  Previous Season With Chandler
Season/Team DefRtg Rank DefRtg Rank
2009-10 Bobcats 103.4 7 100.2 1
2010-11 Mavericks 103.2 12 102.3 7
2011-12 Knicks 106.9 21 98.4 5

DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions

Chandler freely admitted that he wanted this award and used it as motivation as he worked out in the summer.

“I never set out for individual goals except for this one,” he said, “because I felt like if you’re Defensive Player of the Year, you’re changing something and you’re helping win ball games. So to win, I was speechless when coach told me.”

Interestingly, the last five DPOY awards have gone to big men — Chandler, Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett — who entered the league straight from high school. And Chandler says his best lesson came his rookie year, from Bulls coach Bill Cartwright and teammate Charles Oakley.

“They would always tell me, ‘You can’t control offensively the type of night you have night in and night out,'” Chandler said. “‘Sometimes, the ball just doesn’t go in. But defensively, you control it. You never have to have a bad defensive night.’ And I kind of ran with that. So every night, I feel like that I can always have a great game, because I can always go out there and play D.”

So while Chandler is the first Knick to ever win the Defensive Player of the Year award, you can give credit to two former Knicks for planting the seed 10 years earlier.


John Schuhmann is a staff writer for Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.


  1. Squeaky Wheel says:

    *Asterisk Warning!!! Welcome to the NBA Popularity Contest. Where subjective style points now carry greater weight than objective substance. I guess they’ll no longer be bothered with keeping those tiresome statistics like RPG, BPG, PTSPG?
    Could it be that the award went to Chandler because he wasn’t the center of an NBA media feeding frenzy over where he was going to play next year? Giving the award to the less deserving Chandler only diminishes the value of the award.

    * Won defensive Player of the Year Award on emotional points rather than actual points, rebounds, and blocked shots.
    The NBA thinks 3 consecutive Defensive Player of the Year Awards should be enough for any one person to have.

    • JohnZ says:

      Chandler got the award because knicks went from 27th to 11th in points allowed or whatever defensive stat it was they count for teams.The award is given to whoever has the biggest impact in the paint,that doesn’t mean that if howard blocks 0.1 shots more he should get the award.Forget stats and look at the big picture.Tyson did good….not saying better than ibaka but…too close for me to say.Anyway can’t say that Tyson didin’t deserve it.

  2. dhc123 says:

    DWIGHT should’ve won,he had more rebounds(+def),more steal’s,more blocks

  3. Nante says:

    Tyson probably deserve this award but my vote goes to the “Serge Protector” SERGE IBAKA!

  4. LBJ FAN says:


  5. LOL says:

    Coach of the Year = Gregg Popovich
    Defensive Player of the Year = Tyson Chandler
    Most Valuable Player of the Year = Lebron James
    Most Improved Player of the Year = Jeremy Lin
    Sixth Man of the Year = James Harden

  6. AndrewBynumforMIP!! says:

    Very happy for tyson chander who finally won the award he deserves..not a knick fan but how he changed a very offensive minded team to one of the top defensive teams in the NBA..that`s one hell of a impact by a center and he really deserve this award..congratz to tyson chander and make a presence this game 3…:)

  7. mrkcsigue says:

    not a fan. should be ibaka or howard.

  8. newyorksteelo says:

    You more than deserve it man. Keep doing what you are doing. You are impacting the Knicks as well as the entire NBA. If only more players would be as dedicated as you. Congratulations.