Behind a stellar team effort led by NBA scoring title champion Carmelo Anthony, the New York Knicks managed to even up their second round series against the Indiana Pacers. New York completely and utterly shut down the Pacers defensively in the fourth quarter, as Indiana had not managed to hit their first field goal of the fourth until about three minutes left.
Much of this dominating defensive play, however, was done without 2012 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler, who has so far had an absolutely abysmal series. In these two games so far, Chandler has racked up a grand total of seven rebounds and zero blocked shots. In two games!
To put that into perspective, Indiana guard, I repeat “guard,” Lance Stephenson pulled down 13 rebounds in Game 1 alone.
New York coach Mike Woodson showed he had the gall to go with his gut and played Kenyon Martin down the stretch over Chandler in New York’s Game 1 win over the Boston Celtics earlier in the playoffs. If Tyson’s ineffective play continues, Woodson should certainly look to give Martin more crunch time minutes.
No one expects anything from Tyson on the offensive end of the floor, but it is on the defensive side of the ball where he is needed to make an impact. So far, all the Knicks have lost is one game and home court advantage, but if Chandler continues to be rendered completely ineffective by his injury woes, then the series itself very well lies in the balance.