Lakers Newcomer Tyson Chandler’s Block Caps Laker Victory
James Luckey Jr., Editor, Observer Group Newspapers of Southern California Inc
The homecoming for newly acquired Lakers center Tyson Chandler has been an eventful one to say the least. Just a week prior he was in Phoenix playing minimal minutes for a last place Suns team. This week he has be a thriving force defensively for the Lakers first three game winning streak of the young Lakers season. He capped the week off with a game saving block of Atlanta Hawks star rookie point guard Trae Young.
Asked if he didn’t get to the ball before if he think the shot Young put up would have went in Chandler responded, “Yeah, I mean the way he was scoring down the stretch he has showed he can put up some numbers in this league.”
LeBron James capped off a wild ending for him prior to Chandler’s block by missing both of his free throws while being down by one. Lakers Kyle Kuzma got the rebound after the second miss and attempted to score the go ahead bucket then came off the side of the rim when LeBron came out of no where to follow up the miss with a dunk to take the lead for good.
When asked about Chandler’s block at the end of the game James said, “I mean he’s huge. We had a spot that needed some reassurance and for us to be able to get Tyson in the fashion that we got him in and the measures to implement him in the lineup right away and the impact he’s made in the three games we’ve had him so far is great.” James led the Lakers with 26 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assist.
Lakers second year point guard Lonzo Ball (Chino Hills) had a solid all around performance with 8 points, 6 rebounds, and a game high 11 assist. On Ball’s performance and why neither Ball nor Rondo finished the game Lakers coach Luke Walton replied saying, “I thought Lonzo was really good tonight. The way the game was going, I was planning on having him close it out with those starters out there. When [the Hawks] got cooking and we couldn’t get stops, I felt like, for tonight, what we needed was Josh Hart’s toughness and ability to be able to switch. We were starting to blitz [Trae] Young’s pick and rolls, which means we were going to be in straight scramble mode. I just felt like Josh—who’s been playing power forward for us, shooting guard for us—was more equipped to handle that kind of defensive rotation, so we went back with Josh. But I thought Lonzo was really good tonight in the way he came out and the way he played.” Walton also had high praises for Tyson with the block and the end of the game and his overall performances as a Laker saying, “He’s been big. [It’s] not only the way he plays on the court, but the way he talks in the huddles, the way he communicates, practices, and then finishes out games with winning plays. Whether it’s in Sacramento diving into the crowd, at home getting tip-out after tip-out, and tonight on the defensive end with a blocked shot—winning types of plays. We’re very happy we have him.”