Tyson Chandler was named the National Basketball Association’s Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first New York Knick to win the award.
Chandler received 45 first-place votes and 311 overall points from a panel of 121 sports writers and broadcasters, topping runner-up Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who collected 41 first-place votes and 294 points, the NBA said today in a news release.
Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard received 18 first-place votes and 186 points to finish third.
Players were awarded five points for a first-place vote, three for a second-place vote and one for a third-place vote.
Chandler, a 29-year-old center, averaged 1.4 blocks and a career-high 0.9 steals per game during the lockout-shortened 66- game regular season. He also averaged 11.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per contest while hitting 68 percent of his field goal attempts for the Knicks, who are trailing the Miami Heat 2-0 in their best-of-seven first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
New York opponents shot .438 from the field when Chandler was in the lineup, compared to .520 when he was on the bench. Knicks’ opponents averaged 94.7 points per game this season, Chandler’s first in New York. Last season the franchise allowed 105.7 points per contest.
New York acquired Chandler as part of a three-team trade with the Dallas Mavericks and Washington Wizards in December. The Knicks sent center Ronny Turiaf and a 2013 second-round draft pick to the Wizards and guard Andy Rautins to Dallas.
The Mavericks opted not to re-sign Chandler after he helped them win their first NBA championship, averaging 10.1 points and 9.4 rebounds last season.
With Chandler on their roster this year, the Knicks ended the regular-season in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
The Defensive Player of the Year was first awarded for the 1982-83 season, with Milwaukee Bucks guard Sidney Moncrief winning the first two awards. Howard won the title the past three years.
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