The Knicks were manhandled in the second round of the playoffs by the Indiana Pacers back in the spring, and Roy Hibbert was a big reason why. Hibbert not only dominated on the boards and on offense, but he shut down Tyson Chandler. Chandler is known as a defensive specialist, and any offense he gives is just a bonus. During that series, the Knicks struggled to find offense, and Chandler struggled mightily. Now, Chandler says he’s motivated by that series, and by Roy Hibbert, according to the New York Post:
Chandler seems to be still seething over getting outplayed by the 7-foot-2 Hibbert, who had his coming-out party in last season’s second-round playoff series at Chandler’s expense. Chandler averaged just six points and six rebounds in the series.
“I vowed to myself I would never let that happen again,” Chandler said Friday. “I would never let my team down and be in that situation again.”
In Chandler’s defense, he was coming off a neck injury and strep throat that caused him to lose 12 pounds.
“I’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Chandler added, referring to his second-round performance. “It’s not about him. It’s about me. My job is to stop whoever is in front of me and outplay them, no matter who it is. I’ve got to look at it like motivation, like I got my ass kicked. So next time I’m not going to let that happen.’’
It’s good to see a veteran still motivated by losses. Like it says in the article, part of the struggle was due to injury for Chandler. Tyson has vowed that he will bring a new offensive arsenal this season, and if it plays out the way he envisions, the Knicks could be better because of it.