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Has Chandler Parsons Finally Emerged?


Chandler Parsons #25 of the Dallas Mavericks shoots a free throw against the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 10, 2016 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


When the Dallas Mavericks inked their contract with restricted free agent Chandler Parsons back in the summer of 2014, not many knew what kind of ceiling he had.  He was drafted in the second round and was no more than a third or arguably fourth fiddle on a contending Houston Rockets team.  He increased his points per game average in each of his first three seasons and definitely cashed in with the deal he signed with Dallas: 3 years and $46 million.


Going from earning less than a million per year his first three seasons to close to $15 million in his first year of a new “max” contract heaped a ton of pressure on Parsons.  The pressure to perform on a new team and in a new city appeared too much for the Florida-native at times last season.  He often seemed tentative to assert himself in a Mavericks offense that went through Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis.  He showed flashes of why Dallas invested so much in him as his performance improved throughout the season; culminating in the month of March 2015 where he averaged over 17 points per game on 50% shooting from the field.  His late-season momentum was cut short when he suffered the knee injury that would eventually lead to his microfracture surgery that caused him to miss the final four games of the first round defeat at the hands of the Rockets and has slowed him for much of the first half of this season.


Has the calendar flipping to a new year allowed Parsons to transform himself to the building block for the future that this team needs him to be?  The first month of 2016 has been very kind to the newly appointed “ZooChandler.”  Going into Wednesday’s matchup with the Warriors, he is averaging 15.4 points per game (up from 8 and 10.5 in the first two months of the season) on 51% shooting overall and over 44% from beyond the arc in 14 January games.  Take away his slow start to the month of January and in just his last ten games, he has averaged over 19 points on close to 60% shooting.  It’s hard to find a better stretch in his season and a half as a Maverick.



A three game stretch from last Wednesday against Minnesota to Sunday at Houston might be the games that tell the story of when Parsons finally took the next step. The 6’10” fifth year veteran scored 25+ points in three straight games for the first time in his career. His recent string of games,  concluding with his season high 31 points in Sunday’s loss to the Rockets,  has showcased all that Parsons is able to bring to the table when he’s  firing on all cylinders.  An ability to drive unlike anyone else on the team, an outside shooting touch, ball-handling skills that allow him to distribute to other teammates off the dribble and the size and athleticism to be a plus defender in the right system.  Chandler Parsons should find himself being the main focus of the Mavs’ opposing team’s scouting report each night.


Despite Parsons’ recent upswing in production, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle preached patience before proclaiming Parsons ready to be considered “back for good.”


“This is a strong step toward the goal, which is 100 percent health, 100 percent conditioning, rhythm, all those things,” Coach Carlisle said after last Wednesday’s OT win over the Timberwolves at home.  “But let’s not assume that this is the guy whose back we’re going to jump on every time in crunch time. That’s not fair to him.”


Maybe not you, Coach… but the Mavs and their fans alike are desperate to find the player to make the transition to life without Dirk Nowitzki a smooth one.  MFFL’s everywhere have begun salivating at the idea that Parsons could finally be that guy the rest of this season and for years to come.




Editor-in-Chief for Dallas Fanatic| Born and raised in Dallas, I received my Bachelor's Degree from the University of North Texas in 2014 after majoring in Radio/TV/Film. I'm a lover of all sports and support every DFW team. For random sports and other thoughts, find me on Twitter: @DylanDuell

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