According to the Knicks, Tyson Chandler is still questionable for Tuesday night’s game versus the Boston Celtics. Via Ian Begley of ESPN New York:
The Knicks say Tyson Chandler is questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Celtics.
Chandler has missed the past six games with a bulging disk in his neck and a bone bruise in his left knee.
The Knicks say Chandler’s knee is healed but his neck remains an issue.
Amazingly, the Knicks have gone 4-2 in Chandler’s stead since he went down
in the scariest moment of the Knicks’ season against the Denver Nuggets almost two weeks
ago. As Begley mentions, Chandler’s knee has recovered from that incident in Denver, but the bulging disc that has made his neck cranky all year still seems to be an issue.
Even before these missed games, Chandler had been struggling somewhat during the month of March. Through eight games, Chandler had only been averaging 6.1 points on 51% FG, with 8.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks – all below his season averages – and the Knicks had a defensive efficiency of just 101.2 through that stretch.
With Chandler out, the Knicks have actually played pretty well on both ends of the court, thanks in large part to the splendid play of Kenyon Martin who has filled in admirably in Chandler’s absence. They’ve kept opponents under 100 points in five of the last six games (though they’ve played at a snail’s crawl pace, so their defensive efficiency has been quite poor), and have performed ably on offense.
As has been Mike Woodson and the Knicks’ repeated message all season, the team is trying to come together for the playoffs and are solely focused on winning the Atlantic Divsion in the meantime. The Knicks have a back-to-back coming up against Boston on Tuesday and the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday. Winning the game against the Celtics is the most important, but with Kevin Garnett out for the Celtics, it may be an OK time to keep Chandler inactive. While it’d be nice to get a big win over the Grizzlies on Wednesday, that game doesn’t have the same standings implications.
If Chandler doesn’t play the next two games, or even Friday against the Bobcats, he could return for a hugely critical stretch starting next Sunday when the Knicks rematch the Celtics, and face two weeks which includes opponents such as the Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, and Indiana Pacers.