With the news that Tyson Chandler will win the Defensive Player of the Year Award this season I thought I’d mess around with Basketball-Reference and try to put some perspective on the feats the Knicks’ new enforcer was able to accomplish. Specifically, I wanted to determine how long it’s been since the Knicks finished the season ranked as high or higher than they did this season in Defensive Rating (number of points allowed per defensive possession). Here is what I found:
As you can see I had to go back 11 years. The Knicks’ DRtg this season is their highest since Jeff Van Gundy’s last full year as coach – when Marcus Camby patrolled the paint – and not coincidentally their winning percentage is at its peak level since that time.
And while it’s interesting to look at other factors for the teams’ defensive resurgence, I can only give Mike Woodson some of the credit, since readers of this space (and my Twitter feed) know that this season, the Knicks DRtg hovered in the 5-10 range regardless of the coach. So much respect to Tyson Chandler, who deservedly brings home the first DPOY award bestowed on a Knick in franchise history.