Since seeing Tyson Chandler limp off the floor during the first quarter of Tuesday night’s home loss to the Charlotte Bobcats, Knicks fans have been collectively holding their breath, hoping for good news on the Chandler’s status.
Well don’t exhale just yet Knicks fans.
Chandler, the team’s defensive leader, injured his right knee during a collision with Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker late in the fourth quarter. Although no definitive word has come down from the Knicks on the severity of Chandler’s injury, it seems like no structural damage has taken place, as the team is currently calling it a sprain until further evaluation can be completed in New York on Wednesday.
After the game, in which the Knicks lost to the Bobcats, falling to 1-3 on the young season, head coach Mike Woodson talked about how important Chandler is to the team.
“We don’t know the severity yet,” Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said after the Knicks’ loss to Charlotte. “We’ll know more [Wednesday] morning. He’s a big piece of what we do.”
If Chandler is forced to miss significant time, the Knicks could be in serious trouble on the defense end.
In 106 minutes with Chandler on the court, the Knicks have allowed a very respectful 92.2 points per 100 possessions. With Chandler off the floor, that number balloons to 105.6 points allowed per 100 possessions.
With Chandler’s status up in the air the Knicks are staring at a very tough road ahead. While Kenyon Martin can bring tough defense in spurts, relying on the veteran for long stretched would not be an ideal situation for the Knicks.
The Bobcats, who the Knicks face off with again on Thursday night in Charlotte, were without their center as well, as the newly acquired Al Jefferson was sidelined with an ankle injury. If Jefferson can get back on the floor on Thursday night and the Knicks are without Chandler, look for Jefferson to feast on the Knicks undersized front line, in what will ultimately be another very tough game for the Knickerbockers.