The Lakers are not off to a great start this season. All the hype about LeBron James has turned into beginning of the season disappointment. The doubts about the Lakers are coming true. They have a young and inexperienced team. They have a lot of talent both down low and on the perimeter but learning to play together is taking some time.
What Is The Lakers’ New Move?
The Lakers have added another veteran to their team in hopes that he can provide some much needed basketball wisdom. They picked up center Tyson Chandler from the Phoenix Suns to fill out the front court. Chandler came through big for the Lakers in their recent win against the Timberwolves. He had nine rebounds in 23 minutes on the court. Walton gives credit to the front office for going out and finding the right player at the right time. He said he recognizes Magic’s ability to define the team’s needs and figure out a solution.
Why Did Phoenix Let Chandler Go?
Chandler may be getting up there in years but he’s still a force on the court. So why would Phoenix let him go to the Lakers? One theory is that the Suns’ General Manager, James Jones, played for a few seasons with LeBron on the Miami Heat and wanted to help out his former teammate.
But when LeBron was asked about the acquisition of Chandler, he explained it as Jones giving Tyson what he wanted out of respect for the veteran center. James went even further to say that someday when he owns a team of his own, he may have a place for Jones in the organization. So there might be some validity to the idea that Jones was doing James a favor. In any case, Chandler seems to be a good addition to the Lakers.
And Chandler couldn’t be more thrilled with his change of teams. A Los Angeles native, Chandler is psyched to be back home, playing for the hometown fans that watched him turn into a star center. That’s just the kind of energy that L.A. needs right now.
Can Chandler Really Make A Difference?
With only one game under his belt as an L.A. Laker it’s hard to know how Chandler might impact the Lakers over the season. It’s obviously too soon to say that he can truly be the difference maker and turn this disappointing beginning of the season around. But it’s a good sign that the rebounding side of things favored the Lakers with Chandler on the court. In their first meeting this season the Timberwolves had 20 offensive rebounds. Giving up this many offensive boards takes a toll on a team. Second chance points are huge in the NBA. It’s hard to compete when you can’t defend the glass. But with Chandler in the purple and gold, the Timberwolves had only 11 offensive boards.
This dramatic change was arguably the difference in the two meetings between L.A. and Minnesota. In Chandler’s first game he came of the bench as the backup center. He took the court to a standing ovation and cheers from the L.A. crowd. Perhaps Chandler can play a bigger role in the future. But even if he doesn’t, it’s nice for coach Luke Walton to know that he has a secret weapon to come in and handle the boards.