2019 Player Capsule: Tyson Chandler
Tyson Chandler’s arrival immediately flipped the Lakers’ early-season misfortunes. They started just 4-6, but then ripped off seven wins in their next eight games following the big man’s arrival.
The 7-foot-1, 240-pounder provided much-needed rim protection. The Lakers started the year with one of the league’s worst defenses, as opponents thrived against L.A.’s small-ball lineups when JaVale McGee would sit.
But Chandler instantly lifted the Lakers’ defense to elite territory over the next couple months. He locked down the paint from the moment he debuted for L.A., shutting down Karl-Anthony Towns in his first game in purple and gold.
Two contests later, he literally won the Lakers a game at the buzzer by barely getting his fingertip on Trae Young’s last-second shot.
With the addition of Chandler, the Lakers were a top-five defensive team from November through January. But injuries across the roster caused them to drop from there, and Chandler wasn’t exempt, with neck stiffness contributing to him missing 17 of L.A.’s last 19 games.
By the Numbers
16.4: Minutes averaged by Chandler, who tallied career-lows in playing time, points (3.1) and blocks (0.5), plus his second-fewest rebounds (5.6) in his 18th season.
101.1: Chandler’s defensive rating, which was best on the team and 18th among all NBA players who appeared in at least 45 games.
125: Screen assists recorded by Chandler, whose mammoth pick-setting was a key part of the Lakers’ offense. Only JaVale McGee (205) had more on the team, and no other Laker reached 70.
Chandler is one of just three players — along with Pau Gasol and Tony Parker — who remain active from the 2001 draft.
Now 36 years old, Chandler said that he wants to have one last NBA campaign before retirement.
“One more year for me,” Chandler said at exit interviews. “I know next year will be it for me.
“Not because of any physical reason, but because my daughter will be going into high school, so I want to be there to walk her around campus freshman year and be around for all those things. Be there to scare the little boys away and all that good stuff.”
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