Kenyon Martin said he told coach Mike Woodson before halftime he would be ready to step in and help the Knicks if anything happened Tuesday night.
“Something did happen, so I’m always ready when my number is called, no matter what the situation is,” Martin said after Chandler went down with a right knee injury after a collision with Kemba Walker in the first quarter of the Knicks’ 102-97 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Knicks announced Wednesday that Chandler would miss 4-6 weeks with a fracture in his right leg.
“Of course we miss him,” Carmelo Anthony said before the announcement. “He is our anchor on our defensive end so we miss him big-time.”
Martin, 35, was initially supposed to sit the game out to rest, but was pressed into service and started the second half. He finished with two points, two blocks and one rebound in 18 minutes.
Woodson had planned to alternate Martin and Amar’e Stoudemire but that plan could change with Chandler out for an extended period.
“I have a lot to think about right now with Tyson being out and Kenyon and Amar’e on restricted minutes,” Woodson said. “Kenyon’s minutes grew a little bit tonight so I have to keep an eye on that tomorrow.”
Stoudemire was booed by fans for the first time at the Garden during an 11-minute performance that included two points, three rebounds, five turnovers and one technical foul. He went 1-for-3 with two of his shots getting blocked.
“He had been playing decent,” Woodson said of Stoudemire. “But tonight he couldn’t handle the basketball and turned it over…I’m just going to have to live with some of the mistakes. Hopefully, the good things he does on the floor outweigh the mistakes he makes.”
The Knicks also have former Kansas center Cole Aldrich on the roster but he was inactive Tuesday and has yet to see game action.
Martin filled in for Chandler toward the end of last season when Chandler was out with a bulging disc in his neck and now he may have to do so again.
“If he is going to miss any time,” Martin said, “I’m ready when they call my number.”
Adam Zagoria covers the New York Knicks and Big East hoops for NBA.com and SNY.tv. He also appears as a Big East Basketball Insider on SNY and 1050 ESPN Radio. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.