Chandler 100 percent, hopes to add jumper

Tyson Chandler celebrated his 31st birthday Wednesday.

He's not accepting gifts, though. Instead, he's hoping to provide one for the Knicks.

Chandler has been working extensively on his midrange jump shot and hopes to use it more often this season.

"My goal is to consistently work on it throughout the year, continue to gain confidence in it," Chandler said.

More importantly for the Knicks though, is that Chandler is 100 percent healthy entering the season.

Last season, Chandler missed 16 of the final 20 regular-season games due to a neck ailment. He was also dealing with the flu during that time.

The combination of the flu and neck injury caused Chandler to lose about 15 pounds. His conditioning also suffered.

Once he returned to the floor in the postseason, Chandler wasn't the same player. The 2011-12 Defensive Player of the Year was thoroughly outplayed by Roy Hibbert in the Knicks' second-round loss to Indiana.

"I was battling a lot of things honestly. But when you're on the court, you're on the court," Chandler said Wednesday. "You try not to have any excuses. But I'm just glad now that I'm physically ready to get out there."

Chandler said he gained his weight back in the offseason and put on an extra 12-13 pounds. He said he weighs 253 now, up from 240 at the beginning of last season.

He also strengthened the muscles in his neck and around the spine to ensure that his neck would remain healthy this season. He added that he did not need any surgery to repair the injury.

As far as shooting goes, Chandler said he has been working on a midrange jump shot and a jump hook all summer.

It's worth noting, though, that Chandler worked on an outside shot last offseason, but it never materialized in games. Only 17 of Chandler's 400 field goal attempts last season were from 10 feet and beyond. He hit seven of those 17 shots, including 6-of-11 from 15-19 feet.

Chandler has been working with Knicks staffers on his outside shot during training camp sessions this week. If it turns into a weapon, it could certainly be a boon to the Knicks.

If opposing centers are forced to guard Chandler outside the paint, it would open up the restricted area for Chandler's teammates.

"I think it can be deadly because if you can knock that midrange jump shot right there, it exploits a lot of bigs, makes them come away from the basket where they're not comfortable," Chandler said. "And obviously I'm faster than most of the bigs in the league -- not all of them -- so that it turns into a footrace to the basket."

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