Tyson Chandler was clearly not himself in Game 1. Battling the flu, the center looked tired on the court, and then with 1:34 remaining in the second quarter he did something out of character.
Chandler set a harder-than-usual screen on LeBron James, using his hands a bit more with some force, and James fell to the floor, grabbing his neck. The offensive foul was called a flagrant foul type 2, but then it was downgraded to a type 1. Perhaps the referees thought James added some acting to his fall.
After Monday morning's shootaround at the AmericanAirlines Arena, Chandler addressed the play, saying he had no ill intentions.
"I know it probably looked worse than it actually was," he said. "My intention is never to hurt anybody. I appreciate LeBron's game, so I would never want to take him off the floor, especially seeing Shump get hurt. Obviously it wasn't the same thing. I never ever want to see anybody get hurt."
Chandler was asked about James' potential flopping, but he wasn't aware of it.
"I didn't see the replay, so I don't know," he said. "But like I said, it wasn't malicious or anything like that."
With a healthier Chandler on the court Monday night, the Knicks hope he'll rattle James like he did on April 15, when the Heat superstar made some poor passes and was called for a couple of offensive fouls, leading to his six turnovers in the game.
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