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It’s official, Tyson Chandler named Defensive Player of Year

May 2, 2012, 4:22 PM EDT

New Jersey Nets v New York Knicks Getty Images

As we reported was coming, the Knicks Tyson Chandler is your defensive player of the year. The league made it official Wednesday afternoon.

Chandler deserved the award, as the anchor that lifted the Knicks from one of the worst in the league last year to 5th in points allowed per possession (98.4 points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com stats database). He controlled the paint and cleaned up the mess of “defenders” like Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. Chandler blocked shots but he did much more than that — he can defend other bigs on the block, is good showing out on the pick-and-roll and generally is just disruptive on defense.

Chandler was humble at his press conference.

“To me it’s really a team thing. I know I’m here to accept as an individual but it’s definitely a team award,” Chandler said at a press conference at the Knicks’ training facility.

Here are the top five vote getters for the award (with points and first place votes):

1. Tyson Chandler, New York: 311 (45)
2. Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma 294 (41)
3. Dwight Howard, Orlando 186 (18)
4. LeBron James, Miami 112 (7)
5. Kevin Garnett, Boston 44 (2)

The people who voted Serge Ibaka need to not be so fascinated with blocks and watch his team and one-on-one defense. He’s not good in space and is middle of the pack statistically in any category that is not coming from the weakside to block shots. Not great in the post, not great on bigs who can step out. Nowitzki is making plays on Ibaka plenty these playoffs. Ibaka is elite at sending the ball flying on a block but that is not defense. People that voted him first, or even second or third, are doing it wrong.

The other guys on the list all deserve their standing. Frankly, LeBron coming in fourth may people not wanting him to win this and MVP. Which he likely will.

  1. thebigcaptain2011 - May 2, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    L. A. FOOTBALL LAKERS

    • thebigcaptain2011 - May 2, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      That’s what the team soon-to-be-formerly known as the Vikings will be called after the move.

  2. Mr. Wright 212 - May 2, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Iman Shumpert should have gotten Top 5 votes.

    • bils293 - May 2, 2012 at 6:04 PM

      knicks suck. stop posting

    • phaden27 - May 2, 2012 at 6:18 PM

      Not before Avery Bradley Mr. Wright : /

      • pglive21 - May 3, 2012 at 11:18 AM

        Nice try. I hate the Celtics and the Knicks, but Bradley has a lot of work to do before he can approach Shumpert’s level on defense.

        Also, totally agree that Chandler deserves defensive players of the year, but Tony Allen not in the top 5? He should have been top 3 easy, he’s the best wing defender in the league bar none.

      • phaden27 - May 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM

        eh, late this season Bradley handled Shump, and earlier vice versa. It’s going to be a great rivalry to watch if they get lucky and stay with the same teams.

  3. oumoonunit - May 2, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Kurt, you obviously don’t watch enough games to vote for the award then. Your description of Ibaka is basically the description of him being beat last year by Dallas in the playoffs. No, he does not shut down one of the best PF’s in the history of the game, but he has been a very solid man on man defender this year. He obviously is one of the best help side defenders in basketball, but he has also been blocking many more shots this year in man on man situations.

    Like how he plays or not, he singlehandedly changes how teams play against OKC, and no one want to post up and take it slow to the basket (against either Perk or Ibaka). Forcing how a team, instead of just one player, plays there game shows how much of a defensive impact he has. That puts him in contention for the award (while I still agree Chandler deserves it).

    I don’t know if your job makes you skip between games too much, but you obviously haven’t been watching.

    • Kurt Helin - May 2, 2012 at 5:28 PM

      I watch a lot of Thunder games, I saw them in person a couple times this season, I also look at the stats and see how guys shoot against Ibaka. I also talk to scouts. This simply is not my opinion alone. His man-on-man defense is not good, either in space or in the post. It’s average. He’s around 60th percentile in the league (Chandler is 80th) in shooting percentage against in both those situations, which confirms what my eyes see.

      What he does well is alter drives and come from the weakside. Those are valuable, but that does not make him a well rounded defender.

      If you think Ibaka is DPOY material you rely too much on block numbers or are a Thunder fan. Really, I like the guy and think he’s good, but he should be 5th or lower for this award.

      • oumoonunit - May 2, 2012 at 7:17 PM

        Yes a thunder fan. I didn’t say he was DPOY, I only said he should be strongly considered. There are not many PF’s who have lead the NBA in blocks, so this makes him a different kind of player altogether. Having Perk allows him take more chances than most shot blockers, leaving his man for backside blocks and allowing his defender by when he jumps up for an early block because they will only hit the Perk wall. He is only a mediocre, but still solid, man defender.

        I fully agree with most of your points; it is just that his play affects how all 5 players on the court against them play offense, and that makes a DPOY of the year candidate. Chandler does the same thing with all 5 players, but few of the other guys actually do that.

        Again, Chandler is and should be the DPOY; I just reject you thought that he shouldn’t be considered one of the top 5. Lebron is one of the best shut down man on man defenders all time, but that only means pass it to one other guy until Lebron has to switch to that guy. He doesn’t change 5 players like Chandler or Ibaka.

  4. allball23 - May 2, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    I agree with Kurt, Iblocka is the best weekside helper in the league but not a great one on one defender. He shot blocking is not the only thing that makes up good defense. The award always goes to big men. Lebron, and shumpert should have gotten more votes

  5. sk412 - May 2, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    As a longtime basketball fan and a okc fan I do agree wit Tyson chandler for Dpoy, but kurt you need to keep in mind before you knock Ibaka down that night in and out he is gaurding a MUCH BETTER offensivelly skilled players than chandler. I mean seriously how man OFFENSIVELY skilled nba centers are there? Dont waste your time on that 1 kurt! Compare that to his position and ur talking about dirk? Is he not a first ballot hall of famer/Mvp/finals mvp? I give Ibaka third behind lebron. Chandler deserved the award but it really was a down year for great defenders. Tho I do agree with a few things, who are you to say the voters dont know how to vote?

  6. acdc363 - May 2, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Go Kurt!

  7. jumbossportsblog - May 2, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Reblogged this on jumbossportsblog.

  8. moseskkim - May 2, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Great stuff about ibaka. He’s a great talent and is getting exponentially better each year. Thing is he doesn’t even play that much for that team. 7.5 rbds? Sure collison is an excellent back up big, and durant steals pf minutes. But if ibaka was that great of a defender (other than purely shot blocking), he would play huge minutes. Like 40 plus.. And he just doesn’t. Can’t give an award to someone who doesn’t even play max minutes for their team.

  9. moseskkim - May 2, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Great stuff about ibaka. He’s a great talent and is getting exponentially better each year. Thing is he doesn’t even play that much for that team. 7.5 rbds? Sure collison is an excellent back up big, and durant steals pf minutes. But if ibaka was that great of a defender (other than purely shot blocking), he would play huge minutes. Like 40 plus.. And he just doesn’t. Can’t give an award to someone who doesn’t even play max minutes for their team. Like Kurt said.. I say 5th or below

  10. ezmagic - May 3, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    What a joke… Tyson chandler? How did he make the Knicks better? Dwight should of still got it. Much better stats and makes more of a defensive presence. This is a travesty lol

    • blueintown - May 3, 2012 at 10:33 AM

      He made them better in the following ways: Last year they were 22nd in defensive efficiency, this year they were 5th. Last year they were 28th in the league in points in the paint allowed, this year they were first. Last year they were 28th in the league in points allowed by opposing centers, this year they were first. In the games he played in this year, they gave up around 92 points per game, in the games he was out, they gave up 113 points per game. Clearly, you are kind of dumb.

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