2013-14 Top 5 Games: Tyson Chandler
By Kenneth Teape
The New York Knicks' season did not go as planned, and a big reason for that was injuries -- none were more impactful than Tyson Chandler's fractured fibula. Chandler appeared in only 55 games and was not at full strength for all of those as he rushed back in order to help his team.
Chandler was still able to put together some highlight games even with all of the obstacles he faced. Here are the five best games this season:
October 30th vs. Milwaukee Bucks: It was the season opener for the Knicks and expectations were high. The Knicks were expecting to contend in the Eastern Conference with Chandler anchoring their defense. For the first game of the season, that is exactly how it went.
The Knicks were able to pick up a 90-83 victory over the Bucks thanks in part to a great defensive effort from Chandler. The big man recorded season highs in steals (three) and blocks (five), as he controlled the defensive end for the Knicks. He also shut down Bucks’ starting center Larry Sanders, who was limited to only 12 minutes and picked up five fouls.
Chandler would also add 10 points and six rebounds to set the tone to start the season. Unfortunately Chandler suffered an injury less than a week later and the Knicks went into a tailspin without their defensive anchor.
March 5th @ Minnesota Timberwolves: With the Knicks mired in a seven-game losing streak, playoff hopes were fading. The imposing frontcourt combination of Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic threatened to send the Knicks to an eighth straight loss.
What actually happened was the exact opposite, as Chandler came up huge for the Knicks. He provided a solid scoring boost, pouring in 15, and had a major impact in the rebounding department, pulling down a game-high 14 boards.
He also provided stout defense against Love, who shot 6-for-17 from the field and grabbed only eight rebounds. It was only once of 12 times in the season that Love failed to bring down double-digit rebounds.
The victory kickstarted a season-high eight game winning streak.
February 22nd @ Atlanta Hawks: This was a heartbreaking loss for the Knicks, as they saw a 17-point lead disappear and turn into a nine-point loss. Plenty of things factored into the Knicks losing such a big lead, but one thing that did not was the play of Chandler.
Elton Brand started against Chandler, but at 6'9" he was no match for the Knicks' seven-footer. Chandler grabbed 23 rebounds in the game, which was a season high for Chandler. 19 of them came on the defensive end, as the Hawks just had no one to compete with him on the inside. In fact, Chandler accounted for 28.4 percent of the rebounds corralled in the game. He would also add two blocks, as the paint was his domain on this night.
February 27th @ Miami Heat: While the final score (108-82, Miami) had Knicks fans’ stomachs churning, they had to be happy with how Chandler performed.
Chandler was the most dominant Knick in the game, as the Heat had no answer for him in the paint. Chandler registered a season-high 19 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field and 7-for-8 from the foul line. His dominance in the paint carried over to the rebounding department as well, as he pulled down 16 in the process; no other player had more than seven in the game.
March 2nd @ Chicago Bulls: A problem the Knicks faced throughout the season was being undersized, especially when Chandler was injured. Against a frontline consisting of Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, things could get ugly on the interior. The Knicks were blown out of this game by a score of 109-90, but Chandler showed that he can compete with any big men in the NBA in this one.
Going up against the three-headed monster the Bulls rotate up front, Chandler showed them what he is capable of, pulling down 22 rebounds on the night -- eight offensive and 14 defensive. The 22 rebounds he pulled down were exactly half of the Knicks total for the game, and the second highest amount he tallied on the season.