The Knicks have announced that All-Star Center Tyson Chandler has a small non-displaced fracture of his right fibula and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
This is obviously a huge blow to the team. Chandler is the team’s anchor on defense, and when he is not on the floor, opposing offenses are much more efficient. In addition, Tyson’s absence will be felt greatly on the boards and even on offense to some extent, as he is the main screener in pick-and-roll plays. You can take the it-could-be-worse approach, considering that Chandler will only miss about a month, but as we know, setbacks happen.
So what do the Knicks do now? Cole Aldrich will be activated immediately, of course. Kenyon Martin and Amar’e Stoudemire will have to step up and take bigger roles on the team, if their bodies are up to it. Chris Smith’s roster spot is in serious jeopardy as the team will almost certainly need to sign a big man. This doesn’t seem like a season-ender for the Knicks— at least, not if Tyson is actually only out for 4-6 weeks. But other guys— including Carmelo Anthony— need to step it up. If the Knicks continue to turn the ball over and miss open shots, they are in trouble.
Can the Knicks find a way to stop getting killed on the boards like they were after Chandler’s first-quarter exit last night? Can the defense tighten up? Can the team get back on track, or at least tread water until Chandler returns? We’ll see…