Cleveland Cavaliers: Why Tyson Chandler Is The Missing Defensive Piece [Opinion]

The Cleveland Cavaliers are treading water in the early stages of the season and many believe that Isaiah Thomas will remedy that. But, the Cavaliers’ issues are bigger than a crafty ball-handler with a chip on his shoulder. The whispers around the NBA is that the Cavs have lost that air of invincibility that championship caliber teams must have. As good as the Cavaliers are, or supposed to be, they’re lacking one player who can change their misfortune. His name is Tyson Chandler.

The rumors going around the NBA according to Bleacher Report are that the Cavaliers will look to sign Greg Monroe once the Phoenix Suns make him available. While that’s a good move, what does it actually fix? Monroe is a solid player who has averaged 14 points and 8.7 rebounds throughout his career, however, he’s not the defender the Cavaliers need.

While the Cavaliers are struggling in the win/loss column, Thomas, once healthy will help in that department. But, what the Cavaliers need is a post defender who can stop the likes of John Wall, Stephen Curry, and Irving from driving into the lane with no fear. This is where Tyson Chandler has made his name.

Chandler is one of the best rim protectors in the NBA and his presence will give the Cavaliers the relief they need to stop pressing. The Cavs signed Tristan Thompson for his defense and rebounding, but he’s regressed so much that Tyronn Lue decided to replace him in the starting lineup with slow-footed Kevin Love.

For the season, the Cavs are giving up 112.5 points per game while allowing teams to shoot 47.5 percent from the field. How do those numbers equal a championship? What the Cavs are going through has nothing to do with the absence of Thomas. The spunky point guard is average at best on the defensive end. Their issues are in the paint where Love is often overmatched.

By adding Chandler and his 7.0 points and 9.5 rebounds in just 25.8 minutes, the Cavs will instantly become a contender in the East, at least. By adding Monroe, LeBron James and Love will still be forced to play both ends of the court with no breaks. But, by adding Chandler to the roster, it will give LeBron, Love, and Thomas opportunities to gamble more on the wings knowing they have a solid rim protector behind them.

Monroe might be a bigger name and well, we know the Cavs are about the names on the jersey’s, however, this is the one time where they should think about the best team fit instead of individual fit. To win a championship, defense must be the name of the game. The Golden State Warriors are so explosive on the offensive end they asked Klay Thompson to sacrifice his game to defend the Cavs shooters.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will continue to struggle until they address their glaring issue. LeBron can score 50+ points every other game and the Cavs will still be middle of the pack in the East. The offense is not a problem, however, it’s hard to win when your rim protectors are Love, Thompson, Channing Frye, and Jeff Green.

[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]