Perhaps most important of all, Chandler has a direct impact on Carmelo Anthony’s production. In 2012-13, ‘Melo shot three percent better from the field and eight percent higher from three-point range when Chandler was on the floor as opposed to when he wasn’t.
As the numbers display, the Knicks cannot afford to lose Chandler for an extended period of time. Not with the way the roster has been created.
Amar’e Stoudemire played very strong basketball when healthy in 2012-13, posting a Player Efficiency Rating of 22.16. Kenyon Martin provided quality work as a backup player, supplying energy and tenacity during the playoffs. Andrea Bargnani is a dynamic offensive player when on his game.
For as deep as its front court may be, New York still doesn’t have a replacement for Chandler.
Stoudemire was an MVP candidate during his first year with the Knicks, but his numbers have seen a steep drop-off in recent years. He’s grabbed no more than 7.8 rebounds per game over the past two seasons, and has averaged more than 1.5 blocks in just four of his 11 years in the NBA.
Martin can play the Chandler role for short spurts, but he’s a generous 6’9″ and 225 pounds. Chandler is listed at 7’1″ and 240 pounds.
As for Bargnani, he’s struggled to do much of anything on defense or the boards, posting career averages of 4.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 30.2 minutes. That’s what you call wasting a 7’0″ and 250-pound frame.
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All in all, the Knicks should be desperate to see Tyson Chandler return. There season depends on his health.