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Magic vs. Knicks: How Tyson Chandler will challenge Orlando

The Knicks big man is a force defensively and is sneakily effective on offense.

Nik Vučević and Tyson Chandler
Nik Vučević and Tyson Chandler
Sam Greenwood

The Orlando Magic host the New York Knicks on Monday in their first meeting since New York handed them a 38-point defeat on December 6th. The Knicks drilled 17 three-pointers in that game and prevailed with ease in Orlando's most lopsided loss of the season.

Tyson Chandler, New York's veteran center, did not play in that game. He'll be in the Knicks' starting five on Monday, giving the Magic another challenge to surmount, particularly at the defensive end. Magic center Nik Vučević is coming off one of his worst performances of the season, having shot just 2-of-6 for four points in Saturday's loss to the Sacramento Kings. He'll face an even stiffer individual challenge against Chandler.

"[W]hen Nik posts up, his ability to score over Tyson will be challenged, definitely," coach Jacque Vaughn said before tipoff. "Tyson will put up resistance."

Chandler, who won Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2011, will also affect Orlando's team offense as a whole, according to the Magic coach, because of his ability to block shots and cut off dribble penetration.

The Magic also expect Chandler to make an impact offensively; his presence as a dive man in pick-and-roll action complicates how the Magic defend against Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks' other big scorers.

"He makes you cognizant of his rolls [and] the ability to play above the rim," Vaughn said. "I think we have to be smart and selective of when we're helping [and] who we're helping off of." Erring in that regard could result in an easy hoop for Chandler, who is shooting 54.8 percent in the 2013/14 season.