Tyson Chandler completely reinvented the Knicks defensively. (Getty Images)

Tyson Chandler has officially won Defensive Player of the Year, unseating three-time winner Dwight Howard.

Chandler beat out Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka in a close race as Chandler tallied 311 points to Ibaka's 294. 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. Chandler had 45 first, 25 second and 11 third. Ibaka had 41 first, 24 second and 17 third.

Chandler completely reinvented the Knicks defensively turning them into a top five defensive team. Last season New York finished 22nd in defensive efficiency. This season, fifth.

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.

Ibaka was an incredible shot-blocker, registered 3.7 a game while having three games of 10 or more, the first player to do that since Shawn Bradley in the 1996-97 season. Ibaka actually finished just 19 blocks shy of the New Jersey Nets and had more than a hundred more than DeAndre Jordan, who finished second.

But Chandler was more of an overall defensive force. Ibaka played only 27.2 minutes a game as Thunder coach Scott Brooks often would favor Nick Collison or Kevin Durant at the power forward position late in games. Ibaka is only 22 and a growing defensive player.

Dwight Howard finished third with 186 points, LeBron James fourth with 112 points and Kevin Garnett fifth with 44 points. As there usually is, there were a few curious votes as Russell Westbrook picked up a third place vote, Mike Conley got two third place votes, Greg Monroe one third place vote and Joakim Noah two second place votes.


Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks: 45-25-11--311
Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder: 41-24-17--294
Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic: 18-23-27--186
LeBron James, Miami Heat: 7-19-20--112
Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics 2-9-7--44

Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies: 4-3-7--36
Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers: 1-7-7--33
Shawn Marion, Dallas Mavericks: 2-2-1--17
Luol Deng, Chicago Bulls: 1-2-5--16
Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks: 0-2-3--9

Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls: 0-2-0--6
Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies: 0-1-2--5
Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers: 0-1-2--5
Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics: 0-0-2--2
Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies: 0-0-2--2

Grant Hill, Phoenix Suns: 0-0-2--2
Iman Shumpert, New York Knicks: 0-0-2--2
Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons: 0-0-1--1
Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat: 0-0-1--1
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder: 0-0-1--1