Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tyson Chandler Wins NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award

The official announcement is expected to come from the NBA later Wednesday afternoon.

Chandler has been arguably the most valuable player on the Knicks' roster this season. He is the driving force behind the Knicks' turnaround on defense.

Last season, the Knicks ranked 22nd in defensive efficiency, a measure of points allowed per 100 possessions.

After Chandler was obtained via a three-team sign-and-trade in the offseason, the Knicks surged to fifth in defensive efficiency, thanks largely to Chandler.

Interim coach Mike Woodson has said again and again that Chandler deserved consideration for the award.

"He's done everything to put us in the position where we are today," Woodson said last month. "You don't find very many centers that (are) committed like he is, don't have any hidden agendas. You know, it's not about Tyson Chandler, it's always about the team and, you know, that speaks volumes.

"There's a reason why he's a part of the team in Dallas that won a title (last season)," Woodson added. "He's a true pro man and yes, he should be considered for it, absolutely."

The 7-foot-1 Chandler is never one to promote himself, but he admitted last month that he believed he deserved consideration.

"It would mean an awful lot to me," he said. "That was one of my goals coming into the season. I felt like I put myself right in the thick of things. I personally feel like I deserve it. It would be a great honor to win it."

Flu symptoms have slowed Chandler the past five days, including Game 1 against the Miami Heat, but said he "felt stronger" in Game 2.

New York trails Miami 2-0 in the best-of-seven first-round playoff series. Game 3 is Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

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