As we reported was coming, the Knicks Tyson Chandler is your defensive player of the year. The league made it official Wednesday afternoon.
Chandler deserved the award, as the anchor that lifted the Knicks from one of the worst in the league last year to 5th in points allowed per possession (98.4 points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com stats database). He controlled the paint and cleaned up the mess of “defenders” like Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. Chandler blocked shots but he did much more than that — he can defend other bigs on the block, is good showing out on the pick-and-roll and generally is just disruptive on defense.
Chandler was humble at his press conference.
“To me it’s really a team thing. I know I’m here to accept as an individual but it’s definitely a team award,” Chandler said at a press conference at the Knicks’ training facility.
1. Tyson Chandler, New York: 311 (45)
2. Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma 294 (41)
3. Dwight Howard, Orlando 186 (18)
4. LeBron James, Miami 112 (7)
5. Kevin Garnett, Boston 44 (2)
The people who voted Serge Ibaka need to not be so fascinated with blocks and watch his team and one-on-one defense. He’s not good in space and is middle of the pack statistically in any category that is not coming from the weakside to block shots. Not great in the post, not great on bigs who can step out. Nowitzki is making plays on Ibaka plenty these playoffs. Ibaka is elite at sending the ball flying on a block but that is not defense. People that voted him first, or even second or third, are doing it wrong.
The other guys on the list all deserve their standing. Frankly, LeBron coming in fourth may people not wanting him to win this and MVP. Which he likely will.