Tyson Chandler never toots his own horn about anything, which may be one reason he never has made an All-Star team. But when the subject of the Defensive Player of the Year Award was raised yesterday, Chandler admitted he hopes he will be considered.

Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson said he "absolutely'' believes Chandler is a candidate, and Chandler revealed it's been a secret goal.

"It would mean an awful lot to me,'' Chandler said at yesterday's morning shootaround. "That was one of my goals coming into the season. I felt I put myself right in the thick of things for consideration. I personally feel like I deserve it. It would be a great honor.''