Dallas Mavericks

Cuban likes Parsons in Mavericks’ sixth-man role

Atlanta Hawks guard Thabo Sefolosha, left, defends as Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons moves to the basket in the first half Wednesday in Dallas. Parsons has been coming off the bench as a sixth man as he works back from off-season knee surgery.
Atlanta Hawks guard Thabo Sefolosha, left, defends as Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons moves to the basket in the first half Wednesday in Dallas. Parsons has been coming off the bench as a sixth man as he works back from off-season knee surgery. AP

Last week, Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons convinced coach Rick Carlisle to use him in a sixth-man role while he remains under a minutes restriction.

Now, owner Mark Cuban has chimed in and said he potentially likes the new role for Parsons — on a long-term basis.

“I like it because it puts the ball in his hands and lets him be aggressive,” Cuban said before Wednesday’s game against Atlanta. “I like it a lot actually.

“You know it sure worked for [Jason Terry].”

In his first game as sixth man, Parsons played 27 minutes and scored nine points Friday against Houston. He scored nine points in 25 minutes Monday as sixth man against the New York Knicks.

Parsons, who underwent off-season surgery on his right knee, acknowledged that it’s all about getting his legs under him until the minutes restriction is lifted.

“It’s not about starting or off the bench for me,” Parsons said. “That was an idea that we had to space out my minutes more and let me play more of a consistent rotation — it’s just temporary.

“I’m just doing whatever’s best for the team right now. Right now it’s coming off the bench and bringing energy and being a playmaker in that second unit, and if we’re down making sure we get the lead back and in the fourth quarter just be ready to close the game out.”

Coach Rick Carlisle said Parsons is a critical playmaker whom the Mavs need as a rebounder and defender. He didn’t sound like the sixth-man role is long-term.

“This is an experience for him that’s completely different — he’s never come off the bench,” Carlisle said. “You get put in this situation, you learn a lot.

“The approach, how to watch the first few minutes and be ready and just go. But it really helps us that now it opens up his minutes window to bring him into the fourth quarter and we have greater flexibility for sure, and if we keep on going, the minutes restrictions will be eased and eased and hopefully, I don’t know when, but he’ll have the green light.”

Terry won the NBA’s Sixth Man Award in the 2008-09 season after he reluctantly agreed to come off the bench for the Mavs.

Confident Warriors

The stunning 23-0 record the Golden State Warriors have pieced together is good news for the NBA.

So says Cuban, who believes it’s all about confidence for the defending NBA champions and their record start.

“Confidence is everything in this league,” Cuban said. “When you’re confident [players] 1-15, it matters.

“And until they’re not confident, good things will happen to confident teams. So they deserve a lot of credit.”

Cuban said that Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton should get a lot of credit for the Warriors’ success. Walton has been the interim head coach while Steve Kerr has been sidelined with a back issue.

While the NBA still officially credits Kerr with the wins, Cuban said: “Luke Walton is going to get paid somewhere.”

The Mavs host the Warriors on Dec. 30.

Nonsmoker policy

Cuban wouldn’t come out and say whether the NBA should test its players for marijuana usage.

“What I will say is if I saw a guy that smokes cigarettes, I would shame him all the way to the next team I traded him to,” Cuban said. “Put aside the legal side of it, it still goes in your lungs and that’s the thing I’m more concerned about.

“I was never big into weed. Again, put aside the legality aspect of it, it impacts your lungs and your performance, so I’m against it.”

Dwain Price: 817-390-7760, @dwainprice

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

  Comments