Wesley Matthews is a straight shooter, always telling it like it is.
So when Matthews was asked about his confidence following yet another poor shooting performance Friday night against Houston, the Dallas Mavericks’ shooting guard said that confidence is not the problem. But he did admit to violent inconsistencies when it comes to locating the basket.
“I have a decent game, then a not-good game, then a decent game, then a not-good game,” Matthews said. “I’ve got to sustain it — on the offensive end as far as shooting the ball, as far as what I can do, as far as making shots and what everybody knows that I can do.”
Matthews has only shot 50 percent or better once in the Mavs’ first 20 games. That occurred in a 118-108 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, when he was 9 of 13 from the field and scored a season-high 25 points.
But there are just too many nights when Matthews is off the mark, and even he admits that’s not acceptable for a player who was awarded a four-year, $70 million contract this past summer.
“I’m tired of hurting the team; I’m tired of missing shots,” Matthews said. “I put everything I have into this game — I have since I started playing. I’m just trying to keep doubt out. I never second-guess myself.”
Matthews hopes to see more shots fall Sunday at the Verizon Center when the Mavs (11-9) battle the Washington Wizards (8-9).
In Friday’s 100-96 loss to the Rockets, Matthews was just 1 of 9 from the field, including 1 of 8 from 3-point territory. It was a ghastly outing for a player who is shooting career-low percentages from both the field (34.2) and 3-point range (30.8) this season.
Coach Rick Carlisle said he doesn’t see anything mechanically wrong with Matthews’ shot.
“He’s just got to stay the course with it,” Carlisle said. “The shots are on line and hitting the back of the rim predominantly. That just means he’s just got to stay with it.”
The Mavs have cut Matthews some slack because they’re amazed he’s even playing basketball at this juncture. Matthews had surgery on his left Achilles on March 11, and surprisingly was in the starting lineup on opening night — far ahead of when the Mavs projected him to return.
But Matthews has never been one to make excuses. He always owns up to the negatives, as well as the positives, when it comes to his contributions on the court.
“I’ve never been the one to be hesitant and to lack confidence,” Matthews said. “When that happened, I’m just thinking this next one is going to fall. But in the meantime, I have to keep busting on the defensive end.”
Carlisle wouldn’t say if small forward Chandler Parsons would continue in a sixth-man role for the game at Washington.
Parsons approached Carlisle with the idea of coming off the bench, and it was first used Friday night against Houston. Parsons ended up playing a season-high 27 minutes, finishing 4 of 12 from the floor with nine points, four rebounds and four assists.
But more important, Parsons was in for the final 2:34.
Parsons is on a minutes restriction as he continues to recover from off-season surgery on his right knee.
The five-year veteran has played only in the first half of some games, played only in the second half of one game, and had his minutes spread out to the point where he’s barely on the court in the final quarter.
“It was just something that we had talked about, something we thought would be beneficial to the entire team,” Parsons said. “While I’m going through this minutes restriction, just a different look 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.”
Carlisle was delighted that Parsons thought of the sixth-man concept.
“Let’s face it, most guys in his position would not come to the coach and make this kind of suggestion,” Carlisle said. “But he’s a winner. He’s about the team, and he wants to play when it counts and he wants to be available when it counts.
“For right now it’s — I think — a very sound concept.”
Rarely on target
The five best shooting nights of the season for Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews, who has been struggling from the field: