I just posted that Tyson Chandler won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, but here’s where I really relish it.
Tyson Chandler is easily one of my favorite centers in the league, maybe even my most favorite (especially with Dwight Howard’s terrible PR year…), so I was incredibly disappointed when he didn’t take the Warriors’ offer in December and decided to sign with the Knicks. He would have definitely helped the Warriors’ defense, though maybe not to the same extent the Knicks improved (Chandler at least had Shumpert and Fields at the perimeter while the Warriors have… well, you understand). With Chandler’s skill and vocal leadership on the defensive end of the floor, the Warriors could have potentially gone from 26th in Defensive Efficiency in 2011 to at least average (15th or higher). [Putting this in perspective, though the Warriors say the defense has “improved” under coach Mark Jackson, the Warriors are still 26th in Def Eff in 2012]. Putting Udoh and Chandler together on the court at the same time would bring nightmares to other teams’ offenses.
Enough talking about what Chandler could’ve done because my favorite part of him winning DPOY comes from the tweet above.
I love great perimeter defenders in the NBA and I feel like they never get enough recognition by both fans and the league. The fact that Chandler recognizes one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA today with John Schumann’s question gives me a little hope. Sure, he has no say in the actual voting, but it should be noteworthy when the DPOY would have chosen a wing defender.
Four out of the top five DPOY vote getters are big men (Chandler, Ibaka, Howard, and Garnett) while the fifth one is Lebron James, a one of a kind player who can at any point defend 1 through 5. Yes, the two NBA All-Defensive teams gives the chance for people to choose the great perimeter defenders, but a part of me wants more. I would love to see players like Tony Allen, Avery Bradley, Andre Iguodala, and even Iman Shumpert get some individual recognition.
With all that aside, Congratulations again to Tyson Chandler. He truly deserved it and hopefully he wins more in the future.
Note: this rant went on longer than I expected. Sorry, and carry on.
He has become the first ever New York Knick to win the award.
R-n-G Award Picks: Defensive Player of the Year - Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks
Runners-Up: Dwight Howard, Serge Ibaka, Kevin Garnett, Tony Allen, Lebron James
Dwight Howard can easily take this award again for the 4th straight year, but his terrible PR stunts this past season will definitely stray voters away from giving him a 1st place ballot. Furthermore, Orlando’s Defensive Efficiency dropped from being 3rd in 2010-11 (99.1) to 13th in 2011-12 (101.7).
Now here’s why I think Tyson Chandler should get the award.
In the 2010-2011 season, the New York Knicks had a defensive rating of 106.9, good for 21st in the NBA. In 2011-12, under coach Mike D’Antoni, an offensive genius who’s not known as a defensive coach at all, the Knicks were 10th in defensive efficiency. And this happened in spite of players like Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and whoever they had playing point guard at the time (Toney Douglas, Mike Bibby, eventually Jeremy Lin, whoever), all not known to be great, or even good defenders. The jump can be tracked to Tyson Chandler, the teams new defensive anchor and vocal leader in the middle of the paint. Later, after D’Antoni’s departure and Mike Woodson’s take over, the Knicks leaped even higher to 5th in the league in defensive efficiency with a 98.6.
Stepping away from stats, Chandler’s effect on the court is incredibly visible if you have ever seen a Knicks game this season. He is a great post defender, limiting Dwight Howard to only 8 points TWICE, and Andrew Bynum to only 3 points in their one head to head meeting. Chandler also does a great job of hedging out to the perimeter to contain perimeter players on pick and rolls, and then is also able to get back to his big man in time. Chandler was a big reason why the Dallas Mavericks won the title last season, and he definitely brought those skills to the Knicks.
I already mentioned Dwight Howard, but Serge Ibaka and Kevin Garnett both deserve DPOY considerations. Ibaka has been a defensive beast with his uncanny timing to block shots. I was also correct last December when I said that Serge Ibaka would lead the league in blocks (3.6 blocks per game). Kevin Garnett has actually played half the season as PF and the other half as a Center, and he has been a big reason why the Celtics are still 2nd in the NBA in defensive efficiency. Lebron James will always be one of the top perimeter defenders in the league, but I also want to give credit to those unheralded lock down perimeter defenders: Tony Allen, Avery Bradley, and Iman Shumpert. It’s great seeing them close out passing lanes, getting steals, and containing the best offensive options on the other team.
Knicks Kid Reporters Talk to Knicks Players and Sing Justin Bieber with Tyson Chandler
It’s hard not to like this. These kids are cute; one with a mohawk and the other singing Bieber, and you gotta love how into it the players are. Guys like Tyson, Landry, and Jared show how likable people they are… if only that translated to wins vs. +.500 teams.
Mavericks Free Agent Tyson Chandler on the field with San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Montana. (via twitter)
Chandler signing with the Warriors is almost too perfect, which is why it will never happen because we’re talking about the Warriors here. It makes sense though. The Warriors need a defensive center to compensate for David Lee’s lack of defensive ability. Plus, he doesn’t need to be astounding on the offensive end when they have players like Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, David Lee, Dorell Wright, and Reggie Williams who can score at will. He’s also a California guy. See, too much sense, which is why the Warriors will never do it.
Houston’s also a really good fit for Chandler, seeing as they need more size at Center with Yao Ming retiring. If they retain Chuck Hayes, that is an incredibly great defensive frontcourt already. They also have more cap-space than the Warriors.
Edit: How can I forget the New Jersey Nets? Apparently they, along with the Warriors, are the top suitors for Chandler this season. I actually think this is a weird fit because who’s going to play Power Forward, Chandler or Lopez? It could work; there’s Pau and Bynum in LA, and Dirk and Chandler worked nicely (though Dirk’s a very unique power forward), but you also have to take into account that Brook just might not be there yet. This would definitely increase the Nets’ chances of resigning Deron Williams next offseason, but I just don’t see the Nets getting very far with that line-up. At most, they’ll be 8-10th seed in the East, which doesn’t mean much. They should be spending more time finding better swing-men and a legit PF.
And there’s my off-season preview on Tyson Chandler, that just happened on accident.
Funny or Die: Locked In during the Lockout ft. Shawn Marion, Kevin Love, and Tyson Chandler
Can we just get more Kevin Love videos please? Seems like the only upside to this lockout. Oh, and Shawn Marion needs to stop looking like Sisqo.