Chandler Knicks’ Most Important Player?
(Tyson) Chandler’s value to the Knicks was on display on the trip — not through his play, but through his absence. The Knicks heard the words of his former coach, Rick Carlisle, who called him one of the greats of the Mavericks’ franchise Tuesday as he presented Chandler’s championship ring — despite Chandler spending just one season in Dallas.
Chandler already was hurting with a strained left hamstring that night, then he sat out the final two stops on the road trip. The Knicks gave up 118 and 119 points in those games.
“Tyson is a very intricate part of our team,” said Knicks captain Amar’e Stoudemire, who moved from power forward to center Friday. “We can’t wait till he gets back.”
The return of Chandler will allow coach Mike D’Antoni to return to the lineup he had used before the shuffling — Chandler, Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Landry Fields and Lin. But by now they know there are no saviors — just extra help that will work if the entire team works.