NBA: Knicks’ Chandler named Defensive Player of Year
NEW YORK – The New York Knicks’ Tyson Chandler was named the NBA’s 2011-2012 Defensive Player of the Year, the first Knicks player to earn the award.
Chandler received 311 points, including 45 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.
Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka finished second with 294 points and Orlando’s Dwight Howard, who had won the award each of the prior three seasons, finished third with 186 points.
Chandler was third in last year’s voting as a member of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. He was traded to New York in December.
He averaged 1.4 blocked shots and 9.9 rebounds in 62 games.
With Chandler anchoring the middle, New York’s defense improved markedly from the previous season in multiple categories.
The Knicks ranked among the top half of the league in several key defensive categories, including opponent turnovers per game (17.0, 2nd), opponent field goal percentage (.442, 10th), and opponent scoring (94.7 ppg, 11th).
The Knicks currently trail the Miami Heat 0-2 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.