The right knee injury that forced New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler out of Tuesday night's loss to the Charlotte Bobcats is likely a sprain, according to Ian Begley of ESPN New York. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports Chandler will get an MRI on his knee Wednesday and the "best case scenario" is a sprain.
Chandler suffered the injury when he collided with the Bobcats' Kemba Walker midway through the first quarter of the Knicks' 102-97 loss. Chandler remained on the bench with an ice pack for a few minutes before limping to the locker room and not returning.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson is already having some issues with his rotations, and a Chandler injury could prove to be a major problem. Chandler is one of the only things from keeping New York's defense from being a complete disaster, and with no viable bigs behind him, things could get ugly if he misses any length of time.
Andrea Bargnani hasn't shot the ball that poorly in the early going, but the Knicks have been a train wreck when he has been on the floor. According to NBA.com's stats page, New York is 37.7 points per 100 possessions better when Bargnani is on the pine.
Meanwhile, Woodson is currently platooning Amar'e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin due to lingering injuries. Stoudemire of course has his history of knee problems, and he barely looks like he can play anymore. In 11 minutes of action Tuesday, Stoudemire had two points and five turnovers. As for Martin, he has been dealing with an ankle issue since April.
The last big is fourth-year man Cole Aldrich, who has made very little impact in the league and hasn't played a single minute yet with the Knicks. If Chandler is out of the lineup, Aldrich may be forced into action.
In the wake of their postseason loss to the Indiana Pacers last season, Woodson has tried to make things work with a "bigger" lineup. The results haven't been good, and without Chandler, it could be a futile effort. This could force Woodson into using more of the dual point-guard look that was so successful last season, but if Chandler's not anchoring the middle, it may not matter anyway.
New York did have success last year when Chandler went down with an injury, but that was a different team and Martin was healthy then. Now, the Knicks are 1-3 and reeling, hoping the Chandler injury isn't serious and that the return of J.R. Smith from his five-game suspension can provide a spark.