Early on in the season, Rick Carlisle said this about Parsons: "By the time All-Star break rolls around, people are going to look at him and say this is one of the best young players in the league." After early season struggles, a blockbuster trade, and the All-Star break around the corner, it may be time to expect a better and more consistent Chandler Parsons to suit up for the Mavericks.
Hidden behind Dirk Nowitzki' recent resurgence is the improvement in the Mavs' highest paid player. Parsons may have finally found his place alongside Dirk, Monta Ellis, and Rajon Rondo. Over his last four games, he's averaged 16.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and two assists; he's also shooting 53.6% from the floor and 42.9% from three.
The question arises -- on the eve of his second return to Houston to face his former team after his first time back was disastrous -- is this Parsons here to stay or should we expect another slump from the 26 year old?
Parsons has been the scapegoat for many of the Mavs' woes this season. And some of the blame is understandable. His field goal and 3-point percentages, rebounding and assists numbers are all partially below his career average. In losses, Parsons' numbers don't help his case either. In the Mavs fifteen losses with him on the court, he's averaging JUST 12.3 points and shooting 41.7 percent from the floor and 30.3 percent from behind the arc.
Many expected Parsons' Mav tenure to start with a bang, which led to many overlooking his adjustment period. After carving out his niche and role with the Houston Rockets, Parsons would now have to adjust to new personnel, role and style. We recently wrote about how the Mavs can adjust Parsons' role to suit him better.
Early on, it was apparent that Parsons was finding his place in Dallas. In the Mavs first 14 games, he would average just 14.1 points while shooting 41.4 percent from the floor and 31.6% from three.
Parsons seemed to finally find his groove under Rick Carlisle and alongside Monta and Dirk. The following 12 games he would average 19.8 points, .5.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists. More impressive, his percentages would skyrocket; he was shooting 48.3 percent from the floor and knocking down 43 percent of his 3s. He scored 28 or more three times during that span, something he's done only one other time this season.
The Mavericks, looking to improve at point guard and on the defensive end, pulled off a blockbuster trade and brought in former All-Star Rajon Rondo. Again, Parsons found himself adjusting to a new role, and again, his play would suffer.
With Rondo on the roster, Parsons numbers have dipped to 14 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.1 assists since the trade; his shooting has also plummetted down to 46.5 percent and 33.3 percent from range.
While many are disappointed and frustrated with his poor play since the trade and overall this season, being patient with Parsons should be the way to go.
Even with his poor stretches and up and down play, he's putting up some solid numbers across the board in a Mavs' uniform. He's averaging 15.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and is shooting 36.3 percent from behind the arc. To put that into perspective, only seven other players (Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, and Gordon Hayward), with at least one hundred attempted threes, fall within the same category this season, per basketball-reference.com. It's unfortunate these numbers haven't saved Parsons from the wrath of some fans.
We saw him turn the corner and up his play before, so expecting the versatile forward to find his place between Dirk, Monta, and now Rondo should happen sooner than later. Something to consider: Rondo (11.5 shots) is averaging more shot attempts per game than Parsons (11.3) since the trade. That's exactly something we expected or wanted to see after 19 games with Rondo in the lineup.
Parsons, like his fellow teammates, is still adapting to a new role and team; after all, the team is just 11-8 as a whole since the trade. Once the continuity and chemistry is built, Parsons and the Mavs should be playing at a better and higher level and hopefully be able to contend with the West's elite. After all, when Parsons shows up and plays big, the Mavs usually benefit. The team is 10-1 in games he scorers at least 20 points.
While wanting more from Parsons isn't a bad thing, such as scoring and rebounding, keep in mind that of every player on the team, Parsons is the one that has had to adapt the most.
Monta and Dirk have their places in the Mavs hierarchy set. Rondo was brought in to orchestrate the offense. All that has left Parsons in the unfortunate situation where he must adapt and alter his game once again. But if any Maverick can do it, it's him.