The acquisition of Tyson Chandler has given the Dallas Mavericks the look and feel of one of the better and more defense-based teams in the Western Conference.
What This Means For The Mavericks
In the 2011 NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat. This was done in part because of the contributions of bench players such as J.J. Barea and Ian Mahinmi. The Mavericks also won because of a great showing in the series by superstar Dirk Nowitzki and the leadership of point guard Jason Kidd. So many players helped the Mavericks to overcome a 15-point deficit with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter of Game 2 against the Miami Heat, with Miami having a 1-0 lead in the series. Many players also combined to help Dallas overcome a nine-point deficit early in the fourth quarter of Game 4, with the Heat leading, two games to one. Among that group of players, no one other than Dirk might have been more essential to the Mavericks’ cause than Tyson Chandler. Miami was a weak rebounding team and a team with a lot of jump shooters that could get soft near the basket. Chandler was able to fill the void and become a very tough interior defender, taking up space near the rim and being very hard for LeBron James to deal with. LeBron stayed on the perimeter for much of that series, and although LeBron is still in the Eastern Conference, far removed from the West, he knows even now how hard it is to get the ball by Chandler and into the hoop. He’s had to contend with Chandler over the past two seasons, with Chandler playing for the New York Knicks. Now, Dallas gets Chandler back, and if the 13-year veteran can keep his back healthy, the Mavericks become a true NBA title contender, even in the very deep Western Conference.
Let’s look at Chandler’s 2013-2014 season with the Knicks. He was sent to the bench for the final two games of the season. In the 80th game of the season against Chicago, Chandler had only one point in 30 minutes, but he did grab 12 rebounds, giving the Knicks what they wanted and needed in the paint. In the game before that, Chandler played 30 minutes against the Toronto Raptors. He scored six points and collected seven rebounds. In the game before that, on April 6 of 2014, Chandler got one last shot at the Heat. He once again enjoyed competing against the team he had to beat for an NBA title. Chandler showed that the numbers proved this: He scored 10 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. It was one of the NBA’s better role-player performances in a long time.
If Chandler can reach a double-double every few games or so, and if his defense is just as good as it was in 2011, the Dallas Mavericks can move up the ladder in the NBA. Dallas almost beat the San Antonio Spurs in round one of last spring’s playoffs as it was. Imagine what this team can do if it gets younger.
How To Bet The News
The fit between Dallas and Chandler is one thing. The fact that Dallas coach Rick Carlisle would once again get to coach Chandler should make his transition a lot easier. If you’re a betting man, when evaluating your NBA picks, you would say that Chandler’s return will give Dallas four to six extra wins in the coming regular season. And don’t forget that they pushed the NBA Champions San Antonio Spurs to seven games in the first round of the playoffs. Chandler should make this team a very difficult one to matchup against in the Western Conference playoffs. The NBA odds are at +2000 to win the West.