Help arrives for the Knicks on Sunday in the form of Tyson Chandler, who is as obsessed with defense as some of his teammates are about shots and minutes.

The 7-foot-1 center has emerged as New York's defensive muscle and most respected voice in a locker room that is in dire need of guidance and maturity. Think about it: Any hope of an Atlantic Division title is slipping away and Mike D'Antoni has one player, J.R. Smith, sulking on the bench and another, Iman Shumpert, benched due to lack of focus.

"I'm definitely itching to get back," Chandler, who missed two games with a hamstring injury, said on Saturday at practice in Greenburgh. "I've been watching the last couple of games, and I need to get back out there."