One of the reasons the Dallas Mavericks are an improved basketball team this year, and have made it to the NBA Finals, is because of their improved defense. The defensive "stoppers" for the Mavs are former New Orleans Hornet Tyson Chandler, and DeShawn Stevenson. Billy Witz, of foxsportssouthwest, has the story, below.

Dallas Mavericks forward/center Tyson Chandler

Eleven years ago, Tyson Chandler sat in a high school gym south of Los Angeles and watched DeShawn Stevenson take a couple of dribbles past half-court and launch jumpers from ridiculously far beyond the 3-point line. This was a prelude to jogging back and waiting for his teammates to get the ball back for him.

Afterward, it was Stevenson's turn to watch Chandler, a reed-thin 7-footer take his turn trying to stop the nation's most coveted high school player, Eddie Griffin. What Stevenson saw was a player who preferred to be camped near the 3-point line rather than the basket, a player who at times looked lost against Griffin's refined game.