What could losing Tyson Chandler mean for the Knicks?

Tyson Chandler will be out four to six weeks. The Knicks were projected (by some) as a fifty win team. What does the loss of Chandler mean? Well, for starters it would mean for sure that Patrick is going to get paid! But it could be much more dire for the Knicks than that.

An Injured Tyson Chanlder

Forget contention -- Chandler's injury is devastating for the Knicks' hopes at ANY playoff spot.

Chandler and not much else

We were less than kind in our review of the upcoming Knicks season. We pegged the Knicks to win somewhere in the mid thirties! And the bad news? Chandler was worth almost fifteen wins on his own! Alright, the question now becomes, with an injured Chandler, who else can fill in?

Player Projected Minutes Projected WP48
Tyson Chandler 2507 0.275
Andrea Bargnani 1910 -0.098
Amare Stoudemire 1345 0.039
Kenyon Martin 657 0.046
Jeremy Tyler* 386 -0.113
Josh Powell 188 -0.136

I've listed all of the players listed as big men for the Knicks that the Knicks have behind Chandler (Melo will be maxed on playing time already). Giving Chandlers minutes to any of them should be a terrifying prospect for any Knicks fan. Even in the "best" case of trusting Amare and Kenyon with more time, these are two older players that have injury issues. Amare hasn't played a full season in two years. K-Mart was barely able to stay on the court in his prime. Handing Chandler's minutes to Amare or K-Mart would cost over ten wins in a full season. I repeat: that's the best case scenario! The other option is giving more minutes to players like Bargnani and Powell, who are terrible; this would literally be turning wins into losses.

How bad can it get?

In the next six weeks the Knicks will play twenty three games. Twelve will be on the road, which isn't too bad. However, the dire news is this: only six of these games will be  against non-playoff teams (by our projections). That means the Knicks, who we already projected as a lottery team, will be in a world of trouble against a collection of good opponents. They're already in a 1-3 hole, and by the time Chandler gets back, they may be in a well so deep that Arturo's prediction that Chandler gets traded will start to be a good bet. And if that happens, then it looks like things could get downright turrible for the Knicks.