Tyson Chandler

Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks is the recipient of the 2011-12 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, the NBA announced today. Chandler becomes the first player in franchise history to earn the honor.

Chandler received 311 points, including 45 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka finished second with 294 points and Orlando’s Dwight Howard, who had won the award each of the previous three seasons, finished third with 186 points. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote received.

With Chandler anchoring the middle, New York’s defense improved markedly from the previous season in multiple categories. The Knicks ranked among the top half of the league in several key defensive categories, including opponent turnovers per game (17.0, 2nd), opponent field goal percentage (.442, 10th), and opponent scoring (94.7 ppg, 11th). Opposing teams averaged 22.5 more points and shot .520 from the field when Chandler was not in the lineup. Opponents shot .438 with Chandler in the lineup. In addition, Chandler grabbed 22.1 percent of his team’s defensive rebounds when he was on the floor.