Tyson Chandler was named Defensive Player of the Year for the 2011-12 season, ending Dwight Howard's three-year stranglehold of the award.
The New York Knicks were stereotypically thought of as a team that played no defense. Heck, people still think that as of right now. But the Knicks were actually 5th in defensive rating (21st last year), 11th in points allowed (tied for 27th last year), and 10th in field goal percentage allowed (26th last year). Chandler was the anchor of that defense. Although he didn't block as many shots as a Serge Ibaka would, he altered a ton and people recognized how great he was at playing defense that stats never showed (pick-and-roll defense, weakside help, and man-on-man).
And that's where Ibaka struggles. Yes, he led the league in shotblocking far and away. But defense is more than just blocking shots and statistics. I did think Dwight Howard had a chance to win it again or someone like Shawn Marion and Tony Allen.
But the defensive culture of New York has changed because of Chandler. Well-deserved win for the former Dominguez High product (local boy!).
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