I recently said that this current Knicks team was starting to remind me of the 1990s Knicks under Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy because of how well they were playing physical defense. Well, to quote my high school football coach, “you brag on a dog and he’ll crap on the porch.” In their last two losses to the Rockets and Mavericks, the Knicks have given up a combined total of 245 points. Here are Tyson Chandler’s thoughts on the Knicks’ recent defensive struggles courtesy of the New York Daily News:
“We just had lapses all over the place,” Chandler said. “I take responsibility for that. I’ve got to get my team and myself better.
“We’re getting beat a lot off the dribble,” he added. “The penetration is hurting us. They’re getting to the heart of our defense. We’re allowing offensive rebounds, easy shots on the perimeter, dump offs for layups. Just a lot of easy baskets. Early in the year we were making things tough, and now we’re letting guys off way too easy.”
It’s nice to see Tyson Chandler step up and reinforce his status as the Knicks’ defensive leader, but Chandler is going to need some help inside if this defense is going to return to elite status. The Knicks’ reserve bigs are old, but they can still be helpful if they play their roles. Marcus Camby was brought in to block shots, and let’s be real about Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace: They were brought in to use up six good fouls on guys like Lebron James when they get into the paint. All three of the Knicks veteran reserves have to do their parts to keep pressure off of Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire. Still, at 8-3, I wouldn’t any alarms on this team just yet.