Tyson Chandler Makes Bold Claim About 2013 Knicks Team

Tyson Chandler, Carmelo Anthony, Knicks

Getty Tyson Chandler #6 of the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony #7 react after a play against the Indiana Pacers during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden.

Former New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler believes they could have beaten the Miami Heat‘s Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the 2013 NBA Playoffs.

“I really honestly feel like [if] we got past the [Indiana series], we probably would have a legitimate shot to win the [championship]. That was [the year] Miami was trying to go for the back-to-back, and I really feel like we will deal with that next thing. No offense to them, but we had the unit for it,” Chandler said on “All The Smoke” podcast.

The 2012-13 season represented the Knicks’ biggest shot at winning their third NBA championship since the Patrick Ewing era.

Chandler and Jason Kidd reunited that year in New York, two years after winning the NBA title in Dallas. Carmelo Anthony was at his peak, earning a spot in the All-NBA Second Team and had the most popular NBA jersey. Chandler was named an All-Star for the first time in his career and earned a place in the NBA All-Defensive First Team.

With Chandler anchoring their defense and Anthony leading the super-charged Knicks offense, they went off to a roaring 18-5 start, their best start since 1993. They won 13 straight games — the third-longest in franchise history — en route to winning the Atlantic Division title for the first time since the 1993-94 season.

Tyson Chandler Reveals Why They Failed

They were rolling until they led their Atlantic Division rivals, Boston Celtics, 3-0, in the first found. While the Knicks were able to win, 4-2, for the franchise’s first playoff series win since 2000, it marked the beginning of their end.

“We allowed success that we had to get to us. And we [were] in chill mode, like we had done something,” Chandler said.

Chandler recalled their complacency allowed the Celtics to push the first-round series to six games, which came back to haunt them.

“If we say, we should have won [in] five [games] and then we would have three or four days of rest [before the next series],” Chandler said. “We had to play an extra game.”

“So, we finished on a Friday, and then Game 1 for the next series was on the Sunday. It was an early game and we didn’t have a shootaround. They canceled the shootaround. … ‘Wait, no, no, no, like we got to go into the series like we got to prepare for this team.’ So, Indiana comes in and sneaks in Game 1,” he continued.

Never Got a Second Chance

The Indiana Pacers, led by Paul George and Roy Hibbert, stole Game 1 in New York in the second round, and before they knew it, the Knicks found themselves trailing, 1-3, in the series. They eventually folded in six games, with Hibbert’s iconic block on Anthony in the fourth quarter of Game 6 propelling the Pacers to an Eastern Conference Finals matchup against the Heat.

That Knicks team never had the opportunity to redeem themselves the following season after James Dolan brought the Phil Jackson-Steve Mills tandem into their front office. Mike Woodson and his entire coaching staff were fired, and Kidd retired and became the Brooklyn Nets coach.

The Knicks never made the playoffs again until 2021 under new leadership led by Leon Rose and coach Tom Thibodeau.

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