Dallas Mavericks: What To Expect In January From Chandler Parsons
By Jesse Carr
January is officially here and Chandler Parsons is ready for a full workload. What can we expect from him?
According to Earl K. Sneed, Chandler Parsons‘ minutes restriction has officially been waived.
And so Christmas has come and gone, 2015 is over with and so is the knee injury of Chandler Parsons, or so we would hope. For the last three months Parsons has been working himself back into shape while Mavericks fans make excuses for his slow recovery, all the while optimistic that Parsons can be the next face of Dallas basketball.
For most Mavericks fans the priority was to stay above .500 while Parsons and Matthews worked themselves back into the starting rotation and playing 30+ minutes per game. Despite starting the new year off with an embarrassing loss in Miami, Dallas is right where they wanted to be.
The question is, are they ready to capitalize?
There’s been a lot of talk surrounding Chandler Parsons and his three-year, $46 million dollar deal. While some have argued and speculated over whether or not Parsons is worth that kind of money, many Dallas fans have remained hopeful that he is. However, Parsons’ “all-star window” in Dallas could slowly be fading away, and his journey to becoming a franchise type player for Mark Cuban and the Mavs might not be what fans were really hoping for.
During their victory over Milwaukee on December 28th, Mavericks fans were given a real glimpse of just how potent the duo of Matthews and Parsons can be when fully healthy.
Even though Parsons stats were not great, (13 points on 6-12 shooting with 4 rebounds and 4 assists), the important thing is that he logged 37 minutes, the most he’s played in a single game all season.
In an interview with Earl K. Sneed after the Milwaukee game Parsons said, “It’s a long process, man. It’s an ongoing process, too. A couple of good games this week doesn’t mean I’m a finished product,” Parsons added. “I definitely feel good. Playing 37 minutes (against Milwaukee) is an awesome sign, and hopefully when I wake up I’ll feel great. My knee feels perfect, and I’m not thinking about it. I’m playing confident, playmaking and defending, and it’s all good.”
“My knee feels perfect, and I’m not thinking about it. I’m playing confident, playmaking and defending, and it’s all good.”- Chandler Parsons
January isn’t panic time for the Mavericks, but I do think it will provide a lot of insight into the future of Parsons and the Mavericks playoff hopes for this season. Dallas currently sits in 5th place in the Western Conference with only five games separating 4th place through 8th place, and even though Golden State and San Antonio have 1st and 2nd locked down, no lead is safe in the Western Conference.
Through 26 games played this season Parsons is averaging 24 minutes a game, the lowest of his career by far. But Parsons minutes aren’t the only thing that have been lacking this season as the forward tries to regain his mojo. In nearly every category Parsons numbers have dropped, some by very little and others by a lot. Through December the Mavericks were only plus 1.5 in points when Parsons was on the court, not a very good sign for someone trying to become a “franchise” player for Dallas.
That being said, Parsons has been working all season to get to this point – his long awaited and healthy recovery back to the starting lineup.
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Don’t get me wrong, I love Chandler Parsons. Yeah, sometimes his shot looks flatter than the spare tire in my trunk, but I am one of those optimistic fans that thinks that Parsons can still be a franchise player for Dallas.
Here’s my list of things that I think Parsons will need to change this month in order to impact the Mavericks this season and his future in Dallas.
Obviously he will need to get back to his normal form with 30+ minutes per game. With his minutes restriction lifted it shouldn’t be too long before that time comes. In the Mavericks New Years day loss to Miami he logged 27 minutes, the most behind Wesley Matthews‘ 31.
Plus 1.5 through December is horrible for a player who averaged almost 16 points per game last season. During 2014-2015 the Mavericks were plus 3.1 with Parsons on the court. He will have to do a better job at being creative on the offense while still getting high percentage shots. Parsons is shooting 44 percent from the field and only 32 percent from beyond the arc. For the Mavericks to make a serious playoff run Parsons’ +/- will need to be closer to +3.
Parsons’ role in Dallas has been a little different so far. On the day that he signed with the Mavericks Parsons spent most of the night partying it up with owner Mark Cuban. While Cuban has been less than traditional since purchasing the Mavericks, it is safe to say that there aren’t many owners in the league who regularly chill with their new star like Cuban has with Parsons. That being said, Parsons will need to solidify his role on this team not just in his play on the court but his in game leadership and his leadership in the locker room.