DALLAS – Chandler Parsons isn’t all that concerned about playing in any meaningless preseason game.
Now, the regular season? That’s another story.
Parsons underwent a hybrid microfracture surgery to correct cartilage damage in his right knee last May. The injury may sideline the Dallas Mavericks’ fifth-year small forward for all seven of the team’s preseason games.
But while Parsons wouldn’t mind playing in at least one preseason game, his focus is on the games that really count. And those start with the Mavs’ Oct. 28 regular season opener in Phoenix.
"All along my hope is to play opening night,’’ Parsons said after Monday’s practice. "I’ve said that from Day One.
"It all depends on how it goes and if anything happens between now and then. So I said it doesn’t matter to me if I play zero preseason games, or two, three or one, as long as I’m ready for the regular season.’’
Parsons only played in the Mavs’ first playoff game against the Houston Rockets last season before he was shut down for the remaining four games of that series due to that knee injury.
In addition to the playoffs, injuries cost Parsons 16 regular season games last year after he missed a combined 14 games during his previous two seasons with the Rockets.
"I’m trying to not miss any time if that’s possible,’’ Parsons said. "We’ve got to play it by ear.
"Obviously there’s still a chance I’m not ready (on opening day). So I’ll see how it feels.’’
If the Mavs can stay modestly healthy, Parsons believes some good things lie ahead for the North Texas ballclub
"The playoffs are obviously the goal,’’ Parsons said. "It’s just the (Western) Conference is as strong as it’s ever been from top to bottom.
"It’s not really going to be an easy night, especially in our division. Every single team is tough."
Last year every team in the Southwest Division – Dallas, Houston, Memphis, New Orleans and San Antonio – advanced to the playoffs. In order for the Mavs to advance to postseason play for the fourth time in the past five years, they have to address one pressing need which has dogged them throughout training camp.
"We’ve got to stay healthy,’’ Parsons said. "We’ve got to start developing a chemistry, which we’ve been doing a good job of at the start of camp -- and then all summer long -- and we’ve got to compete.
"We’ve got a lot of guys that have a lot to prove. No one’s really talking about us, and we’ve got to use that to our advantage.’’
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