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NBA New York Knicks

Tyson Chandler’s Impact On the New York Knicks

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tyson Chandler has been one of the most consistent producers for the New York Knicks in 2012-13 and is one of the main reasons why the Knicks got off to such a great start.

Chandler is averaging a double-double with 12.4 PPG and 10.9 RPG,and over his last six games, he has grabbed 12+ rebounds. Chandler is the main big man in New York, as his backups, (Rasheed Wallace, Marcus Camby, and Kurt Thomas) although they do give the Knicks decent minutes, are perennially injured.

Having the opportunity to be a part of the 2012 Team USA Gold Medal Olympic team was a great eye-opener for Chandler, who was the only true center on the roster (Anthony Davis is more of a PF in the NBA). He had to learn how to play with his usual aggression and tenacity without getting into foul trouble, and, despite initial struggles to do so, helped lead Team USA to glory.

After playing 30+ minutes in each game during the month of December, Chandler has played less than 30+ minutes in a game just once in January (when he was on the floor for 27 minutes) for the Knicks.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year has also helped change the basketball culture in New York in 2012-13. Formerly known as a team that lacks commitment on the defensive end, Chandler has pushed the Knicks (13th) into the ranks of the top 15 teams in the NBA in points allowed per game.

Chandler’s influence in New York goes beyond stats; he is one of the most intimidating players and one of the best leaders in the NBA. 2012-13 could be he year he, along with MVP Candidate Carmelo Anthony, leads New York to a run in the playoffs.

Follow Thomas Duffy on Twitter @TD_Knicks for articles, news, and all things NBA.