New Jersey Nets v New York Knicks

It’s official, Tyson Chandler named Defensive Player of Year

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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.

Here are the top five vote getters for the award (with points and first place votes):

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.

Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)

Gordon Hayward (20), del Jazz de Utah, intenta un enceste ante Thon Maker (7) y Michael Beasley (9), de los Bucks de Milwaukee, en el duelo del viernes 24 de febrero de 2017, en Milwaukee. (AP Foto/Benny Sieu)
AP Foto/Benny Sieu
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Are we obligated to call Gordon Hayward “deceptively athletic”?

The Bucks have something special in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and they think they have something special in Thon Maker.

But Hayward jammed all over those two in the Jazz’s 109-95 win last night.

First, he got Antetokounmpo:

Then, he got Maker:

Report: Lakers working toward buyout with Jose Calderon; Warriors, Rockets interested

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18:  Jose Calderon #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a called foul during the second half of a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on November 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.

As was expected, the Lakers are now talking about buying out the Spanish national and letting him head to a playoff team for a stretch run, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….

Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.

Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.

Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.

Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.

There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.

Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)

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Bobby Portis didn’t enjoy getting blocked by Marquese Chriss. And Portis sure didn’t appreciate how Chriss fell on him.

But it was all worth it (for me, at least) just to see the Bulls forward make a face that reminded me of this:

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.