Apr 7, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler loses the ball in action against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

For Knicks to Have Deep Run, Tyson Chandler Needs to Step up

New York Knicks big man Tyson Chandler, who earned an All-Star bid this season, has not played like his old self as of recent. And that can be trouble for the Knicks. The team needs Chandler to be ready to go Tuesday night against the Celtics and moving forward if they want a shot at going deep in the playoffs.

Chandler missed 16 of the last 20 regular-season games due to a bulging disc in his neck and has shown that he has not fully recovered. He struggled in the Knicks’ Game 1 over the Celtics, failing to score in 20 minutes and only grabbing five rebounds. If it weren’t for other big man Kenyon Martin, who finished the game with 10 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots, the result would have been different for the Knicks.

Tyson Chandler reported feeling minor stiffness in his neck after Monday’s practice, which is a bit alarming, but says he’s not too concerned about it. The big man also said he was a bit winded, due to the amount of time he has missed because of his injury, but he needs to get back into shape fast. His conditioning and health are key for the Knicks. If he’s not running at 100 percent, the Knicks’ chances of making a deep run in the postseason decreases considerably.

It’s not exactly time to panic yet, but it should be interesting to see if Chandler has made any progress. All eyes will be on how he performs on Tuesday night in Game 2.

Tags: Basketball NBA New York Knicks Tyson Chandler

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