The Los Angeles Lakers have benefitted greatly from an early in-season addition after signing center Tyson Chandler. Since then, they have won three straight, with an increasingly strong defense to show for it.
As it turns out, the Lakers were fortunate to get Chandler in more ways than one. Not only was Chandler’s early-season buyout a revelation for LA but they beat out a Western Conference rival to sign the former NBA champion:
Tyson Chandler said there were 5 teams that expressed interest in him after the buyout with Phoenix, and he narrowed it down to two (Lakers and Warriors). He was grateful to the Suns for giving him the chance to move, especially early in the season, so he’d have time to gel.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 13, 2018
This was a huge victory for the Lakers. Chandler’s impact in three games – albeit against lesser competition – has been huge, mainly affecting the Lakers’ previously abysmal defense. Since Chandler has joined the roster, the Lakers’ defensive rating of 97.4 points allowed per 100 possessions ranks second in the entire NBA.
Chandler has been increasingly accepting of his role, telling the media that he told JaVale McGee he had no interest in “coming for his job” and just wanted to play his role as the backup center to help the Lakers win games.
If the Lakers have any pronounced success this season, whether that’s just making the playoffs or going on a deep run, everyone should point fingers at the Chandler signing as the main difference in how the season turns out.