Tyson Chandler is Defensive Player of the Year for the lockout-shortened season.
Tyson Chandler is Defensive Player of the Year for the lockout-shortened season. Reuters

The Knicks have been one of the hottest teams in the league over the past few weeks. New York finished out the season at 18-6, when Mike Woodson took over as the team's head coach.

New York is set to face Miami in the first round of the playoffs, and is considered a heavy underdog in the series. Now, the Knicks have received some news that could make it harder for them to beat the Heat.

Starting center Tyson Chandler is suffering room the flu, and the Knicks head coach said it's a strong possibility that he won't be able to play in Game 1.

The Knicks and Heat start their series in Miami on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

It's going to be hard enough for the Knicks to compete with Chandler in lineup. If he's unable to go, New York's Chances of winning become a lot smaller.

Chandler has been one of the best defensive players in the NBA all season long, and is key to the Knicks not allowing a lot of points. In three games that Chandler has missed this season, the Knicks have given up an average of 116 points per game. That's certainly not a recipe for success in the playoffs.

Woodson said the Knicks will know more tomorrow. Chandler is reportedly wearing a surgical mask so none of his teammates catch the flu.

Chandler isn't the only member of the team who is sick. Backup guard Toney Douglas will not be available in Game 1 due to a virus. Jarred Jeffries has missed the last few games with a knee injury, but should be ready to go.

The Knicks were 0-3 against the Heat this season. Chandler played in all of those games.