It has been three weeks and counting since Tyson Chandler hit the canvas with a nondisplaced fracture of the right fibula. The Knicks weren’t exactly cruising when he was on the court (going 1-3 when the center was healthy) but his defensive presence could help stop the Orange-and-Blue bleeding. They’ve lost eight straight games now and are 3 and 12 in the young season.
XN Sports saw a bad going for the Knicks coming but so far their horrendousness has exceeded all expectations. Carmelo is at about the scoring clip we figured he would be, but save that, not much else is going well for the Knicks (or New York teams in general).
The Knicks aren’t scoring well (25th overall in Points Per Game), aren’t rebounding well (27th overall), and aren’t sharing the rock either (24th overall). They’re keeping teams to 98.8 Points Per Game, which is good enough for 10th-best among the 30 NBA teams, so there’s some hope. With Chandler back they’d be able to cement their defense some more, and given how he operates off the pick-and-roll and his penchant for snagging double-digit boards, they should be able to improve on all the lacking categories. Though just how much remains as bleak as their record.
For his part, Chandler doesn’t believe the Knicks should be in panic mode just yet. He’s said, “I really feel that we can easily put together a nice winning streak, a big-time winning streak where you win eight out of 10 games or so and we’ll be in first place in our division. I think it’s definitely possible.”
It’s wishful thinking but he has a point. If they did win eight games in a row at the moment they’d be a 11-12 team, which would give them a 47.8 winning percentage. That’s not exactly ‘96 Bulls good but would put them at the top of the Atlantic Division where Toronto leads with a 6-9 record (40.0 winning percentage).
Concerning his return, the big man would rather not mention details, a timetable, or a specific return date but he feels it is close. Coach Mike Woodson has mentioned two weeks as a probable estimate.