Mention defense to a Dallas Mavericks fan, and it doesn’t take very long before the name Tyson Chandler comes out. Chandler was the anchor behind the 2011 NBA championship team and Mavericks fans know this. They know Dirk Nowitzki carried the team in the playoffs and in the Finals against the Miami Heat, but they also know that if it wasn’t for Chandler, the Mavericks wouldn’t have been in a position to win a title that season.
Fast forward two years, and the Mavericks are still struggling to find a suitable replacement for Chandler. That is, until now.
For the first time since Chandler, the Mavericks have a legitimate defensive big man to help clog up the paint and secure the area around the rim. Sam Dalembert was signed for this reason and this reason alone. With Dirk leading the offensive charge, the Mavericks needed a defensive presence.
During the championship run, Chandler not only brought a defensive tenacity, but also energy with every play. The Mavericks are going to need something similar from Dalembert this year. I’m not sure if he can bring the same energy that Tyson did, but he can bring the same defensive mindset that Chandler showed.
Dalembert will have to contend with the other big men in the NBA night in and night out. In order for the Mavericks to return to the playoffs and hopefully have another shot a championship, Dalembert will have to be the anchor of the defense.