Thursday, December 20, 2012
Opening Tip: Is Chandler an All-Star?
By Ian Begley
Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.
Today's Burning Question: Based on his play thus far, does Tyson Chandler deserve to be an All-Star?
Before Wednesday's game, Knicks coach Mike Woodson referred to the Nets' Brook Lopez as "one of the premier centers in the game."
Well, Woodson has a premier big man of his own in Tyson Chandler. Chandler finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds in the Knicks' 100-86 win.
But he also did things that didn't show up on the stat sheet. Chandler had several tip-outs after Knicks misses that extended possessions. And in a game where both teams play at a slow pace, extra shots were going to make a big difference.
The Knicks ended up taking five more shots than the Nets, and you could argue that Chandler deserves the credit. "To keep the ball alive and get us extra possessions, that's big. He's doing all the little things to help you win basketball games," Woodson said.
Added Carmelo Anthony: "We watch film. We see how important that is. Tyson has been doing that his whole career."
Chandler has also made a career out of cleaning up his teammates' mistakes. And he was at it again on Wednesday.
Since Nov. 21, the Knicks had been giving up 44.3 points in the paint, the third-worst mark in the NBA. On Monday, they allowed just 32. And Chandler deserves credit for that, too.
He blocked three shots, changed several others, and corralled five offensive rebounds.
In all, the Knicks held the Nets to 45 percent shooting and 38 second-half points.
"We felt like over the last couple of games we slipped away defensively. We wanted to get back to that," Chandler said.
QUESTION: Based on his play thus far, do you think Chandler deserves to be voted onto the All-Star team?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.