Coach Rick Carlisle is open to an odd strategy in which small forward Chandler Parsons would only play in the second half of games for now.
But the problem with that plan is it’s unlikely to happen.
The Dallas Mavericks are limiting Parsons to 15 minutes a game while he works himself back into game condition after off-season surgery on his right knee. In the two games the five-year veteran has played, he was on the floor for 12 minutes Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers and 14 minutes Tuesday against the Toronto Raptors.
He only played the first half in both of those games.
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I was basically saying how it’s going to be frustrating to watch these fourth quarters — these close games, that’s the most fun time. That’s when I think I’m really good, and that’s when I would rather play.
Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons
The minutes restriction has frustrated Parsons to the point where, after the 102-91 loss to the Raptors, he tossed out the idea of playing in only in the second half.
Will the Mavericks grant Parsons his wish?
“I think anything is on the table,” Carlisle said after Wednesday’s practice at American Airlines Center. “The problem with the whole thing is we have limitations, and then if you do that you’re basically asking a guy to come in cold to start the second half, and who knows what’s been established in the first half.
“There’s no greater indicator for success in this league than having strong first quarters, especially at home. And so if we want to play our best, a stronger start is going to go a lot longer way than trying to move the pieces around in terms of the lineup. But that said, anything is on the table.”
Parsons had nine points, grabbed two rebounds and was 3-of-6 from the field against the Raptors. He made 2 of 3 from 3-point range.
Right now, the way we’ve got to solve this problem is to play better early in the game.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle
But after a night to sleep and reflect on things, Parsons wanted to clarify that it’s up to Carlisle to determine when and where his minutes will come. He just wants more minutes to come his way, starting with Thursday’s game when the Mavericks (2-2) host the Charlotte Hornets (1-3) at 7:30 p.m. at the AAC.
“Any way I can help the team I’ll do. Whatever they think is best,” Parsons said. “I wasn’t speaking on [playing only in the second half] in a selfish way.
“I was basically saying how it’s going to be frustrating to watch these fourth quarters — these close games, that’s the most fun time. That’s when I think I’m really good, and that’s when I would rather play.”
15 Minutes per game restriction on Parsons until he recovers more fully from off-season knee surgery
Parsons said playing in either the first half or only the second half would be something he can live with until the restrictions are lifted.
“It’s something we’re going to talk about and figure out,” Parsons said. “But the last thing I want to do is mess up the rhythm of the team if they have something going in the first half and bring me in the second half, or vice versa. If I’m playing the first half, I don’t want the momentum to die down in the second half.”
Neither does Carlisle, who said he has never played a player who was under a minutes restrictions just in the second half.
“The idea is you’ve got a guy coming back, you take him out of pregame warmups where he’s got a rhythm in warmups and a lather going, and then you allow him to keep the warm feel and everything going and then when it’s the end you’ve got to shut him down,” Carlisle said. “With a 15-minute limit, to me it doesn’t make any sense to play the guy 7 minutes one half and 7 minutes [in the second half].
“That way you’re not getting any conditioning and you’re not getting any rhythm.”
Carlisle is not sure when Parsons will be allowed to play more minutes.
“Our doctor is in charge of the minutes limit,” Carlisle said. “One thing I can tell you is it’ll go faster as he continues to do well, not have issues.
“As I’ve said all along, we can complain about the timetable, we can complain about some unusual circumstances, or we can find ways to solve the problem. Right now, the way we’ve got to solve this problem is to play better early in the game.”