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Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Opening Tip: Shut down Chandler?

By Ian Begley

Tyson Chandler
Should Tyson Chandler sit for the next two weeks, in preparation for the playoffs?
Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.

Today's Burning Question: Should the Knicks follow the Celtics' lead and shut Tyson Chandler down for two weeks?


The Celtics will proceed with caution when it comes to Kevin Garnett, who is dealing with a bothersome ankle injury.

Garnett may sit for as long as two weeks to let the ankle heal before the playoffs start.

Should the Knicks consider the same approach with Tyson Chandler?

Chandler has missed the past seven games with a neck injury.

He'd hoped to return to the court on Tuesday in Boston but told reporters that the injury hadn't healed enough for him to hit the floor.

He said he's feeling a sensation that runs down his neck and his shoulder and can't look up because of the injury.

"I got to play defense, and rebound and look up," said Chandler, who doesn't think he'll play Wednesday against Memphis. "So that's kind of my problem area right now. It's not something that I'm really worried about in the long period. I want to be there with my teammates. I wanted to play this game. But I need a couple of days to let it calm down."

Letting Chandler sit for two weeks may sound a little irrational, but the Knicks need the big man healthy in the postseason.

Sure, they want to fight for the No. 2 seed, but their seed isn't going to matter much if they don't have a healthy Chandler.

The Knicks are percentage points ahead of third-place Indiana and 2 1/2 games up on Brooklyn, which is fourth in the division and second in the Atlantic Division.

New York is also five games ahead of fifth-place Atlanta and has gone 5-2 with Chandler out.

Finishing in one of the top four spots in the conference would give the Knicks home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Chandler was asked on Tuesday about the possibility of shutting it down for two weeks to let the injury heal.

He doesn't think he'll need to miss that much time but he also said he has to "make sure I'm right. I hope (I'm) not (out) that long. I don't foresee it being that long. I felt like I was close yesterday. But, like the trainers talked about, I've got to be able to move around and feel good. [Monday] I felt like I was close. I'm like, 'Close is good enough for me, let's try it.' But obviously I'm not good."

Question: Should the Knicks play it safe with Tyson Chandler and shut him down for two weeks, just as the Celts did with Garnett?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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