With Chandler Parsons continuing to be on a minute restriction, does he really make that big of a difference for the Mavericks?
Going into Sunday night’s matchup with the Lakers, everyone was excited for the return of Parsons to the lineup, even if word had already came out that he would only play the first half.
Fortunately, the Mavericks didn’t need Parsons as Dirk led the way to a Mavs victory over the far less superior Los Angeles Lakers, but Tuesday night against Toronto would be a different story.
The Toronto Raptors came into the game sitting at a 3-0 record looking to set a franchise record by going 4-0. A new look Kyle Lowry had been the buzz of the preseason and he did not disappoint against the Mavs.
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Lowry led the way with 27 points but more importantly the Raptors took the victory over the shorthanded Mavs. The question is, would having Chandler Parsons in the second half changed the result of the game?
You can’t guarantee that for sure, but you can agree that the Mavericks are a different team when Parsons is on the court.
Parsons makes all the difference because of one thing…his penetration.
There is a reason that word was coming out of Mavs camp this offseason that they wanted to run the offense through Chandler Parsons this year in a point-forward type role. His ability to get to the rim changes the whole defensive game plan for the opposing team.
Nov 3, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons (25) drives to the basket past Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) during the first half at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Without Parsons on the court, the Mavs turn into a straight jump shooting team. Wesley Matthews is more of a sharp shooting, grounded two guard. Dirk and Zaza aren’t taking anyone off the dribble. Even Deron Williams isn’t as threatening as he was earlier in his career.
This is why we see a spark when J.J. Barea or Raymond Felton come into the game because they can get into the lane, draw in defenders, and kick out to open shooters to a certain level. We saw this same impact back last year when Barea took over for Rondo and opened things up in the playoff series in Houston.
So what does it mean for the forseable future until Parsons is off his minute restrictions?
First, we must remain hot from the field. Dirk has been incredible to start the season and the Mavs must continue to shoot the ball well until Parsons gets back to full speed.
Second, Deron Williams is going to have to stay aggressive. It is very clear through the first four games that Williams looks healthy and ready to go for the season, I just want to see him creating more in the lane and shooting the ball more than he is so far.
So what will the Mavericks look like when Parsons is off his minute restrictions?
First, the Mavs will have their go-to offense in full force for the end of games. The ball in Parsons hands at the top of the key, pick and roll with Dirk, with Williams and Matthews on the outside.
Second, the rest of the Mavs’ field goal percentage should go up. Parsons will use his penetration threat to either score the ball at the basket or draw the defenders off his teammates around him. Thus opening up more shots for the rest of the team.
In my opinion, Chandler Parsons is the most important person to this Dallas Mavericks team. Not having him for the final two quarters of games is a bigger deal than some people think, but hopefully something that can be weathered until the restrictions are lifted.
To this Mavs team, Parsons makes all the difference.