Dallas Mavericks

Parsons wound up in a sixth-man role

 

DALLAS – The Dallas came up with a new plan to utilize small forward Chandler Parsons, just in time for Friday’s home game against the Houston Rockets.

Well, actually, the plan was conjured up by Parsons.

Frustrated because he’s been on the bench – due to a minutes restrictions -- when games are still there to be won, Parsons convinced coach Rick Carlisle to put him in a virtual sixth-man role. That way when his minutes are being doled out, Parsons would be available to play down the stretch.

The plan worked – well, sort of – as Parsons was able to play the final 2:34 against the Rockets. But the Mavs still didn’t produce enough points as they dropped a 100-96 decision to the Rockets at American Airlines Center.

"It was just something that we had talked about, something we thought would be beneficial to the entire team,’’ said Parsons, who played a season-high 27 minutes. "While I’m going through this minutes restriction, just a different look just spaced out my minutes.

"It’s been tough on everybody trying to get in a flow and get in a rhythm. When you’re starting the first six minutes of the game and the first six minutes of the second half, that kills half my minutes right there.’’

Parsons played 13 minutes in the first half Friday and 14 in the second half.

"Just a different look while we’re going through this,’’ he said. "Until I get my legs back, my rhythm back, coming in and playing carefree, especially be a playmaker and be aggressive in that second unit.

"Help pick up the slack and get us going. It’s something we’ll do here and try it out and see how it goes.’’

Overall, Parsons was 4-of-12 from the field and finished with nine points, four rebounds and four assists. At this point, the Mavs are open to suggestions on how to best get their fifth-year veteran more involved in their offense until his minutes restrictions are lifted.

"It was his idea (to come off the bench) – he came to me with it,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. "At this point I like it a lot because it opens up lineup flexibility and it enables him to be involved in the fourth quarter.

"It is an adjustment for him, but until the minutes restrictions are completely lifted, if we don’t do something like this he’s going to keep getting shut down in the third quarter. He’s progressed enough in terms of his conditioning and rhythm to where we need to have that option.’’

Earlier this season, Parsons was playing only in the first half of games. And in one game on Nov. 5 against Charlotte, he only played in the second half and finished with 15 minutes during that 108-94 loss to the Hornets.

Now this.

"It’s interesting,’’ Parsons said of his sixth-man role. "You kind of watch the game and see how they’re guarding pick-and-roll and see a guy like (Patrick) Beverley got hot today, and so when you’re in the game you have more of an understanding of what’s going on.’’

The bottom line is under this new experiment, Parsons was able to be on the floor when the game was in doubt. And that, more or less, is a win for him and the Mavs as he continues to get in better condition following offseason surgery on his right knee

"I haven’t been getting in a good rhythm and haven’t been getting myself going, and I hate not playing in the fourth quarter, so I just went to (Carlisle),’’ he said. "I want to win, I felt like this would give our team the best opportunity to win and be successful.

"It didn’t work tonight, but I thought I played with energy and got that second unit going a little bit there in the first half. We’ll continue to do that until this minutes restriction is up.’’

Carlisle wouldn’t say whether or not Parsons would remain in a sixth man role when the Mavs play their next game Sunday at 5 p.m. at Washington. Parsons, though, seemed receptive to the idea of continuing with the status quo until he no longer is under a minutes restrictions.

"Just a different look while we’re going through this,’’ Parsons said. "Until I get my legs back, my rhythm back, coming in and playing carefree, especially being a playmaker and being aggressive in that second unit.

"Help pick up the slack and get us going. It’s something we’ll do here and try it out and see how it goes.’’

Dwain Price: 817-390-7760, @dwainprice

Dwain Price can be heard every Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. on dfwiradio.com

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