After Friday’s 118-109 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle surprised many when he had some choice words about the conditioning of small forward Chandler Parsons.
“Parsons looked tired out there out there tonight — his shot was short,” Carlisle said. “He’s working on losing some weight — he’s a little bit heavier than he’s been.
“He’s up over 230 and we’d love to see him get down to at least 225, so that’s a work in progress. [Friday was] one of those nights where I think the extra weight was a hindrance.”
Parsons scored nine points on 4-of-12 shooting against the Thunder, and was only 1 of 6 on 3-pointers. A few of his jumpers also hit the front of the rim, which is a sign of a player’s legs not being there.
“Usually after training camp my weight fluctuates, so I’ll get it down,” Parsons said. “Last year I played at probably 220-225.
“Training camp was tough and I don’t have a lot of legs right now.”
Carlisle agreed with Parsons’ analysis, adding that he thinks the Mavericks’ $46 million free-agent acquisition will eventually reach his optimum playing weight.
“He’s gotten stronger, but he’s been playing at 215 [pounds] for his first three years,” Carlisle said. “An increase of 18-20 pounds is just too much, and we talked about it [Friday], we talked about it a lot.
“He’ll get there, but he looked tired out there and a little heavy-legged, and the extra 7 or 8 pounds aren’t helping.”
The Mavericks, who are expecting Dirk Nowitzki (right hip contusion) back for Sunday’s 6:30 p.m. preseason game at American Airlines Center against Indiana, are hoping Parsons will have shed a few more pounds in time for the game against the Pacers.
“I don’t mean to call [Parsons] out in public or anything, it’s just a fact,” Carlisle said. “He’s an important guy for us. We need him to get to his right conditioning and weight level so he can play his best, because we’re going to need him to play a lot of minutes over the course of 82 games.”
As training camp enters its third week, the Mavericks are looking for Jae Crowder to give them what Shawn Marion gave them the past five seasons.
Marion was a lockdown defender who could effectively defend point guards, shooting guards, small forwards and power forwards. It was an unusual knack that Crowder hopes he can re-create.
“I’ve been doing it thus far in camp and that’s one of my goals going into this year is defending [point guards] through [power forwards], because I feel like you never know when I’m going to be doing it in the game,” Crowder said. “Last year I guarded guys from [point guard] Steph Curry to [small forward] LeBron James to [power forward] Serge Ibaka.
“It’s very difficult, but you still have to be willing to do it and step up to the task and step up to the challenge and take the game as it comes to you.”
It could be difficult for Crowder, at 6-foot-6 and a svelte 235 pounds, to guard the taller or beefier power forwards. But the third-year veteran is more than up to the challenge.
“His challenge is the taller guys, and so he’s got to be a little more like Tony Allen [of Memphis] and understand how to be physical and aggressive without creating fouls, or not being called for fouls,” owner Mark Cuban said of Crowder. “He’s lost a lot of weight, he’s improved his quickness, and he’s improved his shot. His shot is a lot quicker. He’s hit a lot more of it, and he’s got a lot more confidence.”
Carlisle has been raving about Crowder’s defense throughout training camp. From a defensive standpoint, Carlisle puts Crowder right up there with what the Mavericks have gotten from center Tyson Chandler.
“Jae’s one of our best defenders, and he can guard a lot of different positions,” Carlisle said. “So he’s going to be one of the guys that we go to situationally, and also during the course of games.”