- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Tyson Chandler struggled on defense in the Pacers series. But he had no trouble defending himself Monday in the face of questions about his performance.
When asked if he felt he let his team down in the series against Indiana, Chandler said, "No, no. You can’t let the team down if you give them 100 percent. I gave my teammates everything I had and I’m fine with that."
A large segment of the Knicks' fanbase may disagree with Chandler there. The Knicks' center was thoroughly outplayed by Roy Hibbert over six games.
For the series, Chandler averaged 6.2 points, 6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 29 minutes per game.
Hibbert averaged 13.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.2 blocks, including a 21-point, 12 rebound performance in Game 6.
Chandler admitted Monday that he wasn't 100 percent healthy during the series. He suffered back, wrist and knee injuries in Game 5. He also struggled with his conditioning and timing early in the playoffs after missing 16 of the Knicks' final 20 regular-season games due to a neck injury.
"I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I wish I could have got a couple games in before the playoffs started," said Chandler, the center on the NBA's first team All-Defense. "I feel like I never really got in a rhythm. But that’s just kind of how it went. I tried to give the team everything I had. I gave them 100 percent, gave them what I had. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough."
Chandler said his neck wasn't an issue after the Celtics series. But his timing just wasn't there after the long layoff. He was missing "the rhythm you get in with (teammates) being used to me being on the court, used to me, feeding me in certain positions, defensive rotations, all of that."
Chandler doesn't anticipate needing surgery to heal his injuries. He also hopes to work on his offense in the offseason.
"I definitely want to be more involved, more consistent on the offensive end," he said.
NOVAK 'FRUSTRATED': Sharpshooter Steve Novak played seven minutes or fewer in all but two of the Knicks' playoff games. He played a total of nine minutes in the Pacers series.
He admitted Monday that he was frustrated with his role.
"It was definitely frustrating for me not to be a bigger part of it but those are the rotations and decisions that Coach went with," Novak said. "I understand that he's always faced with tough decisions when it comes to guys and playing time and that kind of thing.
"It was frustrating but we've talked and we talked during that series as well," Novak added. "It didn't work out the way we wanted so you can always look back and question everything but that's how it goes."
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