DALLAS – For the second straight game, Chandler Parsons was limited to playing only in the first half.
But if a half is all he’s going to be limited to play in during the foreseeable future, the Dallas Mavericks small forward knows which half he would rather play.
"I’d almost rather play in the second half to be honest,’’ Parsons said after Tuesday’s 102-91 loss to the Toronto Raptors at American Airlines Center in the Mavs’ home opener. "Close the game.
"But a team develops their rhythm in the first half, and you can’t just throw a guy out there in the second half and change it on them.’’
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Maybe, but the way the Mavs collapsed in the second half, having Parsons out there with the game on the line might not have been a bad idea.
In his 14 first-half minutes, Parsons scored nine points on 3-of-6 shooting and appeared to establish some rhythm. But with his conditioning still not up to par after offseason right knee surgery, the Mavs (2-2) are not in a position to take a risk and increase Parsons’ minutes just yet.
"He’s doing well,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. "We certainly could have used him in the second half, but that’s just not in the cards.
"We’re going to keep going along like this for awhile. He’s working hard and we’ve just got to keep going.’’
While starting the game, Parsons contributed eight points in seven minutes in the first quarter. He admits the limited minutes is not ideal and can be frustrating and is playing tricks on his mind.
"I’ve never been in this situation before,’’ Parsons said. "I also don’t just want to play four minutes every quarter and not be able to do anything and get a rhythm and get going.
"I’ve got to find a way to be playing in the fourth quarter.’’
While the Mavs certainly could have used Parsons in the fourth quarter when they scored just 18 points, guard Devin Harris said the team: "Got to focus on the guys that we have right now. Obviously they have a plan for him.
"We got to try to stay the course until he can get back, so we have to try to do the best we can with the guys we have and try to make it happen.’’
Guard Wesley Matthews, himself on a minutes restrictions, can certainly emphasize with Parsons’ trials and tribulations. But he also is aware that the opponents don’t care about the Mavs’ troubles.
"Everyone has to do their job on the defensive end, finish plays, get out of rotation, get rebounds, get out and run,’’ said Matthews, who had eight point sin 28 minutes. "Obviously, we got to hold the fort down, find creative plays to win and everybody’s got to step their game up.
"I'm on minutes restricted -- I’ve got to deal with that. Chandler obviously is on his, but we have a job to do and that's to win games.’’
Parsons, who only played 12 first-half minutes during Sunday’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers, acknowledged that his knee "felt fine’’ after Tuesday’s game. He just desperately wants more playing time tossed his way.
"The more I play, the more comfortable I’ll be,’’ Parsons said. "It’s just going to be frustrating how long they have me on this (minutes) restrictions.
"Watching the second half, these close games, where I could be in there helping, it’s just the most frustrating point.
"Just sitting there helpless, watching my team struggle in the fourth quarters, I feel like I should be out there and I want to be out there so bad. That’s going to be the toughest part for me, to be patient and understand it’s what’s best and find a way to adjust to that. It’s brutal.’’
Dwain Price can be heard every Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. on dfwiradio.com.