When the Knicks acquired Tyson Chandler via a sign and trade earlier this month, his addition was hailed as a smart move for a team that hasn't always appeared keen about playing defense.

With the 7-1 Chandler roaming the paint against the Celtics on Sunday, the improvement was immediate.

True, the Knicks were beaten down the floor on numerous occasions by Boston point guard Rajon Rondo. But in his first regular-season start as a Knick, Chandler blocked six shots, one more than the entire Celtics team, and appeared to play a role in stripping Ray Allen, along with teammate Landry Fields, with less than a minute left and the score tied at 104-104.

The Knicks gained possession and Carmelo Anthony was fouled at the other end. His two free throws with 16.3 seconds left proved to be the game-winning points.

"I just love the energy that we gave," Chandler said. "The one thing that you can control is your X's and O's, but you can't control the effort as far as the coaching staff. We (gave) a great effort and from that we will be able to go back to the tape and learn from our mistakes and then correct them."

Chandler finished with seven points, six blocks and just three rebounds in 36:48 of play. It was a fine debut for a player who is expected to be the defensive stopper on a Knicks team that finished 20th in rebounding and 26th in opponents' field goal percentage last season.

The Knicks can only hope Chandler gives them what he gave the defending champion Mavericks last season.