Tyson Chandler is clearly still suffering from the lingering neck injury that caused him to miss most of the end of the regular season. His play has suffered on the court considerably, but his comments after the New York Knicks’ Game 3 loss to the Indiana Pacers should have Knicks fans worrying.
Asked why Roy Hibbert, who is Chandler’s primary responsibility on the floor, had his way with New York, Tyson responded that the team “was not following the game plan.” Hibbert is torching Chandler, and rather than face the facts and own up to his sub par play, Tyson elected to deflect the blame in an action unbecoming of the normally well spoken 2012 Defensive Player of the Year.
Chandler also went on to take what appeared to be a shot at franchise star Carmelo Anthony:
“We have to be willing passers. You have to sacrifice yourself sometimes for the betterment of the team, for the betterment of you teammates … I think we need to do a better job of allowing the game to dictate who takes the shots and not the individuals.”
However, the shot distribution for Game 3’s loss could have not been much more evenly dispersed:
Anthony – 16
Smith – 12
Shumpert – 10
Felton – 8
Stoudemire – 8
Martin – 7
Anthony may tend to dominate the ball and the shots, but he certainly did not do so in New York’s loss Saturday.
Meanwhile, Chandler has racked up a grand total of 12 rebounds throughout the first three games of the series. Every Indiana starter is averaging more rebounds per game so far than the Knicks big man. Furthermore, Pacer guard Lance Stephenson pulled down 13 boards in Game 1 alone.
Perhaps Tyson is just frustrated at himself. He has been completely ineffective offensively, and his primary defensive assignment is having the biggest impact on the series.
I’ll chalk this up to a one-time thing where Chandler is just frustrated at not being able to contribute in typical Tyson Chandler fashion and may have said some stupid things he probably regrets. Hopefully for the Knicks, Chandler will turn around his disappointing play on the court and mindset off of it. There’s no question a healthy, determined Chandler means all the difference in the world to New York, and the Knicks will need the services of their champion big man if they want to get by Indiana.