New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler became the first ever Knickerbocker to win Defensive Player of the Year, netting 311 total points and 45 first place votes. Coming in second was Serge Ibaka, who had a whopping 241 blocks on the season, the next highest (DeAndre Jordan) having 135. Dwight Howard was number 3 on the voting, despite having won the award each of the last three seasons.
Tyson Chandler was arguably the most important player on the Knicks team this season. Outside of winning DPOTY, Chandler had the highest field goal percentage at 68% (.679 to be exact) outside of any Wilt Chamberlain season. The Knicks were terrible last season on defense, ranking 22nd in defensive efficiency. With the amnesty of Chauncey Billups, the Knicks freed up enough cap space and Chandler was obtained in a three team trade. With Chandler’s intimidating presence in the middle, the Knicks ranked 5th in defensive efficiency this year. Chandler was an integral part of the Dallas Mavericks championship run in 2010, and if the Knicks hope to increase their chances at such a run, it would be best to keep him for the long run. “If it wasn’t for my teammates’ poor defense, I would have never won this award” – Tyson Chandler joked at the DPOTY press conference.