The Knicks got some big news from their big man Thursday as All-Star center Tyson Chandler declared himself "100 percent" heading into Game 1 of the first-round series against the Celtics Saturday at Madison Square Garden. "I feel great and ready to go," Chandler said. "I'm looking forward to it. I had some time to rest and I think it can be a positive for our team." Problems with a bulging disc in his neck caused Chandler to miss the final six games of the regular season and 16 of the team's final 20 contests. Chandler, however, looked pain-free Thursday after going through practice with his teammates. "This is the best I've felt in a long time," said Chandler, who averaged 10.4 points and 10.7 rebounds in the regular season. "It was a blessing in disguise that I was able to get that time off. I'm going to have fresh legs throughout the playoffs and I'm excited about this long run we're about to endure." Chandler's health is a big key to the Knicks having a long playoff run. Chandler, last season's defensive player of the year, is the anchor of the Knicks' interior defense. With coach Mike Woodson saying yesterday that Amar'e Stoudemire is likely to miss the first round of the playoffs, the Knicks will have to depend on Chandler and Kenyon Martin up front. Two other big men, Marcus Camby and the recently signed Earl Barron, practiced Thursday and should give the Knicks some minutes against the Celtics, who have been going with a bigger lineup. "We've got to have some bigs," Woodson said. "We have four bigs who can battle along with [Carmelo Anthony], so that makes five. We've got enough bigs. We've got to make sure we can keep them healthy and playing at a high level."
Tyson Chandler in good health to begin playoffs
Newsday | Apr 19