The New York Knicks brought Tyson Chandler to the Big Apple in the summer of 2011 to be the team’s linchpin on defense and their enforcer. That’s exactly what he has been. Chandler, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, has brought a toughness back to the Knicks that had been lacking. That fight and won’t back down attitude has filtered through the organization and it showed up the other night against the Boston Celtics. In a tough, physical game there was wrestling, takedowns and scuffles, mostly between Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett. It didn’t end on the court though as Anthony has been suspended one game for confronting KG in the arena tunnel after the game.
Tyson Chandler joined ESPN Radio New York on the Michael Kay Show to talk about the way the team is playing lately, if he feels like the Knicks have a target on their back this season, what has led to the regression on defense, if he feels like Kevin Garnett crossed the line with Carmelo Anthony, if crossing the line can happen given how much trash talk goes on during games and whether Garnett is known as a player who tends to cross the line with his trash-talking.
On the way the team has been playing lately:
“Absolutely. We’re playing the type of basketball that we should, the type of basketball that we’ve played over the last couple of years since I signed a contract to come here.”
If he feels like the Knicks have a target on their back this season:
“Absolutely and that’s the thing that we really have to understand is that we have targets now. We are one of the best teams in the league and when teams come into our arena or we go on the road teams are very excited to face us. We need to know we’re going to get a team’s best night in and night out.”
What has led to the regression on defense:
“I think there’s multiple reasons that can trigger it but I think the biggest is our injuries. We had guys go down and then not even go down but we had guys get banged up so we weren’t able to have the same type of practice schedule that we were having when we started the season with all healthy bodies. That contributed to the slippage a little bit because defense is something you have to go over every day so it’s not something you think about, it’s something that you naturally know.”
If he thinks Kevin Garnett crossed the line with Carmelo Anthony:
“I think it was a little too much in all honesty. I felt like Melo just wanted to have a conversation man-to-man and I can respect that.”
If crossing the line can happen during the course of games considering all the trash-talk:
“Absolutely. You can definitely cross the line in sports. There are certain things that are said on the court that is basketball chatter and then other things that should always be left off.”
If Garnett is known as a guy that crosses the line too often:
“I’m not sure. I guess it all depends on who you ask the question to.”
If Anthony was bothered more by losing or the comments made by Garnett:
“In all honesty I can’t answer that question because I don’t know. I don’t even know what was said because I wasn’t there when it all happened. I know one thing, Melo doesn’t get easily agitated and people don’t get under his skin that easily so obviously whatever was said, it must’ve been something.”