Originally posted on Knicks Journal  |  Last updated 5/2/12


The New York Knicks will reportedly announce later this afternoon that big man Tyson Chandler has won the NBA's "Defensive Player of the Year" award.

Chandler joined the Knicks this past offseason fresh off helping pace the Dallas Mavericks defensively towards an NBA title last season.

While New York has struggled this postseason, and just about have their backs against the wall down 2-0 in the first-round matchup with the Heat, there's no doubt Chandler made a groundbreaking effort towards changing the culture in the Big Apple all season long.

The Knicks sacrificed Chauncey Billups, amnestying the five-time all-star in order to bring Chandler to town. He rewarded the franchise's bold decision, elevating their play all around as he served as their defensive anchor, also emerging as a leader on and off the court. His presence helped New York jump leaps and bounds in defensive efficiency, rising from a 22nd place ranking last season to 5th this season.

Though interim coach Mike Woodson's new mentality around defensive intensity led to the Knicks to a 18-6 record to close out the regular season, it has been Chandler's physicality and aggression on that side of the court which has set the tone. His play has been infectious, as evidenced in the effort from many of his teammates, most notably rookie guard Iman Shumpert.

The 7'1 center has risen above, providing his team with an intimidating figure down low. Should New York have any chance at pulling off a comeback against the Heat, it will be Chandler's impact and leadership that will most likely play a big role in propelling them to an overall series victory.

Chandler, who has persevered through flu-like symptoms during the playoffs, averaged 11.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks while leading the entire league with a 67.9% field goal percentage this season.
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