Saturday, April 28, 2012

New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat Position Match-Ups: Center

This is the fifth installment in a series of posts breaking down the match-ups between the Knicks and Heat position by position.  The fifth match-up will be between the Center position.

Match-Up: Tyson Chandler vs. Joel Anthony

No disrespect to Joel Anthony, but this might be the most lopsided match-up in the series.  “I think Tyson gives you all the intangibles – he gets charges, rebounds, emphatic dunks.  He’s so active.  Not that Joel Anthony isn’t, but I think this is a distinct advantage for New York,” said the scout.

Tyson Chandler is thought of to be many things for the Knicks.  One scout believes that Chandler is the emotional glue for the Knicks and that could not be any more accurate of a statement.  Chandler provides the Knicks not only with some of the best rim protection any player can give in the NBA, but he also gets the Knicks fired up, focused and ready to go.  Chandler also brings invaluable experience with his NBA Finals run last season that ended in a victory over these Miami Heat players.  Chandler needs to help the Knicks by keeping Bosh off the glass and dominating the boards; something he should not have a problem with since he has been doing it all season long.  Chandler is the driving force behind the Knicks turnaround from the putrid defense in 2010-2011 to the top five defense they were this season. 

Many scouts point out that the Heat have been very good at taking away the pick-and-roll of opposing teams.  This could cause problems for the Knicks and Chandler since that is the main source of Chandler’s scoring opportunities.  Mike D’Antoni was adamant in pointing out that the Knicks missed Chandler a number of times in the first match-up with the Heat.  Those opportunities never seemed to be available again after that, as Chandler was held to only eight field goals in the last two games against the Heat. 

It should be pointed out though that Chandler was injured half way through the second half of the most recent meeting April 15th in the Garden. 

Another thing to keep an eye on as a Knicks fan is the amount of technical fouls that Chandler raked up.  He finished with 11 technicals, tied for most on the team with Carmelo Anthony.  Chandler plays with a lot of emotion and passion which can sometimes get him in trouble.  He can still play tough and aggressive, but he is going to have to keep his emotions in check because giving away free points to the Heat will only make it harder on the Knicks. 

The advantage at the center position goes to the Knicks.  There are not many players in the NBA that can have the impact on a game Chandler can without scoring a boatload of points.  

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