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Saturday, April 21, 2012
Chandler 'OK' with matchup vs. Miami

By Ian Begley

After Friday's loss to Cleveland, the Knicks can pretty much forget about getting the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.

That leaves them with a matchup against Miami or Chicago in the playoffs.

And if the Knicks have to face the Heat in the first round, that's just fine with Tyson Chandler.

"I'm OK with it," Chandler said earlier this week. "They've beaten us, obviously, every game that we've played them. But I don't feel like we've necessarily made the adjustments to that team. That's a team that you have to make adjustments (to) and make them pay for how aggressive they are. And we haven't done that yet in any of the games that we've played. We have to be willing to, if that's our matchup, to sit down, break down tape and really focus in."

Chandler knows what he's talking about when it comes to LeBron James and Miami. He was the defensive anchor on a Mavericks team that beat the Heat in the NBA Finals last June.

Chandler came over to New York in an offseason sign-and-trade and immediately put his signature on the Knicks, helping to transform them from a mediocre defensive team to one ranked in the top 10 in the league.

New York played well defensively against Miami in the Heat's 93-85 win earlier this month. Miami shot 46 percent from the field but was limited to just 23 percent shooting from beyond the arc. But the Heat did have a glaring advantage on the boards, out rebounding the Knicks, 47-33.

Chandler, who was hampered by a knee injury in the second half of that game, said the Knicks need to play smarter against Miami if they face them again, focusing on exploiting their weaknesses.

"They have those just like every other team.... We've never exploited it though," Chandler said. "We haven't played smart basketball against them, not one time that we've faced them. We've played hard, but we haven't played smart and (you have to play) smart against a steam like that."

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