Chandler motivated by failure vs. Hibbert

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Tyson Chandler didn't need any private trainers or coaches to push him during offseason workouts.

Instead, he found motivation in another form: visions of Roy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers dominating the New York Knicks in the playoffs.

"I vowed to myself I would never let that happen again," Chandler said Friday. "I would never let my team down and be in that situation again."

He added: "I’ve got to look at it like motivation, like I got my ass kicked. So next time I’m not going to let that happen."

Chandler was thoroughly outplayed by Hibbert in the Pacers' second-round win over the Knicks back in May. The Knicks' center averaged six points and six rebounds in 30 minutes in the six-game series. Guarded primarily by Chandler, Hibbert averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds, and went off for 21 points and 12 boards in Indiana's series-clinching win in Game 6.

Shortly after the series, Chandler surprised some observers by stating that he didn't let the Knicks down with his play. But he changed his mind at some point during the summer.

"I’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen," Chandler said, of getting outplayed by Hibbert. "It’s not about him. It’s about me. My job is to stop whoever is in front of me and outplay them, no matter who it is."

It is worth noting that Chandler missed 16 of the final 20 games of the regular season with a neck ailment and the flu. That combination caused Chandler to lose about 15 pounds. So he went into the playoffs at less than 100 percent.

The good news for Knicks fans is that Chandler regained his strength in the offseason, adding 15-20 pounds to his frame.

He's also trying to add something else this season: a jump shot. Chandler has been shooting more than 600 jumpers per day during training camp. His goal is to add the outside shot to his repertoire once the games start to count.

"I’m an athlete. I’ve excelled defensively. There’s no reason I can’t excel offensively," Chandler said. "It’s just a mindset. Defensively, my mindset is always, 'I’m going to lock down every single possession.' Now it has to translate to 'OK, I’m going to be aggressive every (offensive) possession."

Chandler has worked on his jump shot in offseasons past, but he said this year he "doesn't want to shy away from it."

The 7-footer certainly seemed to shied away from it last year. Only 17 of Chandler's 400 field goal attempts were from 10 feet and beyond. He made seven of those 17, including shooting 6-for-11 from 15-19 feet.

For his career, 86.2 percent of Chandler's 4,356 field goals have come within four feet of the basket. But if Chandler can develop his jump shot into a weapon this year, that could force opposing centers to leave the paint to defend him. That, in turn, could open things up for his teammates in the paint and at the rim.

"I’m just going to put the hard work in," Chandler said. "When the opportunity comes in a game I’m going to be aggressive."

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