Gold Award – Tyson Chandler
The book on Chandler when the Knicks signed him a month ago was that he was going to provide a much needed boost for the team on the defensive end, but anything you got from him on offense would be considered a bonus. I guess Monday night falls under the “bonus” category, as Chandler scored 20 points on only eight field goal attempts while also adding 13 rebounds, one helper, three blocks and three steals as the Knicks avenged an ugly loss to the Bobcats last week with a narrow victory over them at MSG.
Silver Award – Boris Diaw
I don’t know if playing in front of his old coach Mike D’Antoni helped Boris Diaw awaken the 2006 version of himself or something, but he definitely turned back the hands of time for at least one night. Diaw had 19 points (10-12 FG), 10 rebounds, seven dimes and a steal. Sacre’ Bleu!
Bronze Award – Amir Johnson
Andrea Bargnani (31 points, nine rebounds) will get a lot of the publicity (Well, Canadian publicity at least), but it was Amir Johnson who was truly beasting against the T-Wolves on Monday night. Johnson had 19 points on 7-9 field goal attempts, 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal and a block in the Raptors victory over Minnesota. He also hounded Kevin Love for most of the night, forcing tough shots and helping him have an uncharacteristically poor offensive night.
The “How Did They Leave This Guy in the Game After He Hit the 1-8 Mark?” Award – Jason Maxiell.
Jason Maxiell played 24 minutes last night. He took 12 shots. Eight of those shots came within five feet of the basket. He missed seven of them, and went 1-for-12 overall. The fact that the Pistons didn’t have any better options than the guy who couldn’t make a layup speaks volumes about the arc of the 2012 Pistons season. Enjoy Detroit fans.