Sunday, April 29, 2012
Iannazone: Knicks' Tyson Chandler "Probable" For Game Two
After failing to make enough of an impact in the Knicks' 100-67 game one loss to the Heat, Newsday's Al Iannazone is reporting that Tyson Chandler still remains just "probable" for game two tomorrow.
Chandler, who grabbed just 3 rebounds in 21 scoreless minutes yesterday, did not attend the team's practice today in Miami.
With the flu still plaguing Chandler so severely, is it better for him to sit out or play in game two? On occasion, a key player persevering through hardship to play in the playoffs (see Michael Jordan, Willis Reed, etc.) can ultimately turn out to be a huge moral booster for his team. Though early reports had originally stated Chandler was likely out for game one, the big man rose above the illness in order to participate as the Knicks began their playoff journey.
But aside from being a moral booster, at what point does an ill player plague his team on the court, more than help them? If Chandler truly is not 100%, his presence on the hardwood could also handicap for the Knicks. Should the Heat opt to attack the basket on a consistent basis, there's a chance the big man won't be able to effectively stop them. Their strategy would be to hit Chandler hard, all the while knowing they'll have success inside. This obviously wouldn't fend well for the Knicks.
With New York already playing without the likes of Jeremy Lin and Iman Shumpert, there's no use creating other weaknesses for the Heat to potentially exploit.
There's no question Chandler has emerged as a leader on and off the court for the Knicks all season long, elevating their play perhaps more than anyone could have imagined. With that said, if he is so sick that he's unable to partake in practice, who's to say he's prepared to take on the toughest form of competition (in addition to trying to fend off the flu) ? One has to wonder whether Chandler has made day to day progress (and the team is just taking precautions by holding him out of practice), or if he is just physically unable to go through the activities.
If progress has been made, that's great, but if the team is just holding onto false hopes, perhaps it's better to prepare the best possible strategy without Chandler, and allow him to be counted on as a top-notch cheerleader from the bench until he's healthy enough to make an impact.