Chandler struggled mightily in the Knicks’ second-round series against the Indiana Pacers, and particularly against Pacers’ center Roy Hibbert. Hibbert had his way with Chandler, and was perhaps the difference in the Pacers outlasting the Knicks in last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals.
Will Chandler use his lackluster 2013 playoff showing to motivate him to bigger and better things this season?
Well, for the Knicks to get anywhere this year, there is going to have to be a commitment to defense. Obviously, Chandler is more known for his defense and it all begins with him. He was the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in the 2011-12 season. For his career, Chandler has averaged 9.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks to go with a solid 8.7 points a game. You will usually find Chandler near the top ten in rebounding as well as being in the top 20 for bocks every year.
Chandler’s is the Knicks heart and soul on defense.
He is now one of three Knicks to who have won an NBA championship. Chandler, who won a title with Mavericks in 2010-11, will be joined this year by two other players who have won championships, as Metta World Peace (with the Lakers) and Beno Udrih (with the Spurs) have also enjoyed the taste of a championship.
It is with these two additions that the Knicks might have found themselves with just the right role players to make an even deeper run this year.
It is especially the addition of World Peace that is enticing. As Matt Agne points out in this story, World Peace is all in for another run at a title. His presence alongside Chandler will be the type of tag-team intimidation this team so desperately needs. Throw in Kenyon Martin, and this will be a Knicks’ team that will put fear into players who risk entering the lane.
The Knicks have all the scoring they need with Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith and the recently acquired Andrea Bargnani on the roster. What they need to foster a winning attitude are those gritty garbage-men type players and it all begins with Chandler.
Chandler has to just forget about his shortcomings in the playoffs last year. He has to get back into that winning mentality, which has made him such a great teammate for years.
With a fresh slate, and with valuable new teammates to work with, Chandler has a chance to do good things in 2012-13. His window of productivity is rapidly closing, though, as he is entering his 13th year in the league. So, this could be career-defining season for Chandler.
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