For nearly two weeks, Chandler Parsons was reduced to sitting and watching as his Dallas Mavericks teammates struggled through a tough part of their schedule.
Parsons felt powerless because a sprain and bone bruise to his left ankle he sustained during a Feb. 20 game against the Houston Rockets had rendered him useless. It also sidelined the four-year veteran small forward for seven games — the longest he’s been out in his NBA career.
“It was pretty miserable, man,” Parsons said. “Like you said, I’ve never gone through that and you just kind of feel helpless, especially when your team is losing you think of what you could be doing. I remember all that and just to put that to use now that I’m back, but it’s not fun. I definitely want to be playing.”
The Mavericks were 3-4 while Parsons was out. His absence disrupted the flow of the offense, because the Mavericks looked lost trying to make due without their third-leading scorer.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
However, in the two games since his return, Parsons has 29 points and 11 rebounds, and is 12-of-23 from the field and 4-of-9 from 3-point range. His production has given coach Rick Carlisle a sense of encouragement.
“He’s another guy that’s not really 100 percent,” Carlisle said. “That’s going to be an ongoing rehab project for a while, but he’s working hard on the treatment, and he’s done a good job playing in the games.
“We spelled him a little earlier because he hasn’t played that much in the last couple of weeks. But I think we’re getting to where he’s close to being back conditioning-wise where he needs to be.”
The Mavericks (41-25) hope to continue seeing progress from Parsons, starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday when they host the Los Angeles Clippers (42-23) at American Airlines Center.
Parsons is still dealing with some soreness in his ankle, but it won’t prevent him from playing.
“It’s getting better and better every single day,” Parsons said. “It’s still not great. It’s just going to be lingering pretty much all year long, but just stay on top of rehab and keep doing what the trainers tell me to do. I think the more I play the more I’ll get used to it, and I’ll be able to get through it.”
Parsons scored 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting during Sunday’s seven-point win over the Los Angeles Lakers, and then added 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting in Tuesday’s 33-point loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“For being out that long I thought he played pretty well,” forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “I saw he was really gassed and he subbed himself out, but that’s what you want. You don’t want a guy playing to exhaustion out there. So I thought he played pretty well for being out for almost two weeks.”
As the Mavericks continue this five-game homestand tonight, Parsons said no one should wonder about the team’s emotional state after they suffered their worst loss of the season against the Cavaliers on Tuesday.
“In our careers we’ve lost some games and we’ve had our back against the wall, and after the loss the other night, it hurt,” Parsons said. “It’d be a bigger problem if it didn’t hurt and everybody wasn’t as frustrated as we were.”
“So I think that’s a good sign and we’ve got to take that pain and then not ever let that happen again. We know we’ve got a tough schedule coming up, so we’ve got to take care of business.”
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760