Recapping Sunday’s ho-hum win over Detroit, Seth Rosenthal over at Posting and Toasting noted that despite the relatively easy win, the Knicks’ defense was still pretty spotty, calling particular attention to the reigning Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler:
Tyson Chandler got caught floating between ball-handler and roller on an alarming number of plays (this continues to be a thing), and unnecessary helping (often by Jason Kidd) and switching opened gaping holes the Knicks didn’t rotate to cover. I don’t know if it’s a sign of opponent preparation or just Knick lethargy, but I find myself issuing a lot of the same complaints I had at New York’s worst defensive moments last season.
It’s been noted here and elsewhere that Tyson Chandler’s defense hasn’t been up to last season’s standard and it’s now gone on long enough to warrant legitimate concern. For what it’s worth, I’m still willing to lean on the “lingering effects from his preseason bone bruise” excuse until it’s absolutely no longer possible to do so, because frankly the thought of a sub-standard Chandler from here on out fills me with great dread and I’d prefer to just not do it for now, particularly when the team is resting comfortably at 9-3.
To Seth’s point, the Houston game seemed a particular low point in regards to getting lost on pick and rolls, as the Rockets were continuously able to get into the teeth of the Knicks’ defense without much resistance, with Chandler often getting caught out of position to the delight of all the, “I’ve been saying this all along, he’s not…” yada yadas among us.
Perhaps more concerning is the greater story that New York’s defense has steadily declined after such a brilliant start. The hope was that the defensive end of the floor was finally going to be something this team could hang their hats on, but now we’ve got hats just hanging willy nilly all over the place, which is really no way to manage hats.
The Knicks will need Chandler at the top of his game for Monday night’s tilt with Brooklyn, as no one wants to see him lit up by the league’s heir to Rik Smits. Oh man, do I still hate Rik Smits, and by that same standard, Brook Lopez.