Chandler stunned by schedule

December, 14, 2011
12/14/11
12:02
AM ET
Tyson Chandler was sitting in the barber's chair last Friday when he saw the 66-game schedule for the first time.

Let's just say it caught him off guard.

"I almost fell over," Chandler recalled Monday with a smile. "I couldn’t believe all the games and the back to backs and the flight schedule."

The Knicks will be playing 66 games in 124 days this season. The scheduled includes 21 back-to-backs, one back-to-back-to-back and four sets of four games in five nights.

To Chandler, the key to getting through it is conditioning.

"I was just talking to one of the young fellas about it," Chandler said. "The more you can treat your body, the better off you're going to be [later] in the season."

Mike D'Antoni estimated that the Knicks will have just six days to hold full practices over the course of the season.

The coach said a lot of practice time will be used for "film work and walk-throughs."

GRUNWALD 'FINE' WITH INTERIM ROLE: Generally speaking, "interim" is an ugly word in professional sports.

But Glen Grunwald, the Knicks' interim GM, is just fine with it.

"I'm not sure if I’m the interim president or the interim GM but I’m interim," Glenwald said on Monday. "And that’s fine. I think I’ve got a great staff here."

Grunwald, the senior vice president of basketball operations, took over as interim GM after Donnie Walsh left.

The Knicks were believed by many to be in pursuit of Chris Paul, but once Grunwald realized the team couldn't generate the cap space to land a max free agent this summer, he switched course and went after Chandler.

"I feel very fortunate because there was an excellent player that wanted to come to New York and play for the Knicks," Grunwald said.

As for his future role with the team, Grunwald said he'd leave that up to his boss, Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan.

"I love working in the NBA and working for the Knicks," Grunwald said. "This is the job that Mr. Dolan’s asked me to do for now. And if he asks me to do something different in the future, I'm sure I’ll do whatever I can as best I can to help move the organization forward."

'WAITING FOR THE BEST SOLUTION': The Knicks currently have 11 players on the roster who are expected to stay with the team (not including Devin Green and Chris Hunter). They should add Jerome Jordan in the coming days. That leaves a maximum of three spots left over (you can carry three on your inactive list).

"We’ll end up with 13 or 14 guys so right now it’s just probably waiting on the best solution," D'Antoni said on Tuesday.

Could that solution include Jamal Crawford?

"We’re certainly trying to recruit Jamal, we’d love to have him on the team," Grunwald said on 1050 ESPN New York's The Michael Kay Show. "He was another great guy off the court too. And he’s really improved even since he left us. If we could add him to the team we’d, love to do that."

D'ANTONI WANTS FAMILIAR FACE IN WILLIAMS: D'Antoni said it would be "great" to have free agent Shawne Williams back in the fold, especially because he knows the Knicks' system well.

"As a team, we’d love to have Shawne back. But he has to work out his end of it and we have to work out ours," D'Antoni said.

Williams is expected to make a decision on free agency this week.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2