Parsons' return to lineup pays immediate dividends

Parsons' return to lineup pays immediate dividends
January 14, 2014, 2:00 pm
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Parsons: 'Have to find a way to be more consistent'

It didn’t take very long to see some tangible reasons why the Houston Rockets rely so much on Chandler Parsons. About 12 minutes into their eventual 104-92 win against the Celtics to be exact.

Parsons returned to the Rockets lineup on Monday night, after missing three games with a sore right knee. He started the game and played seven minutes and 24 seconds before checking out for a rest for the first time.

Up to that point, he’d missed both of his shots and committed a foul. He corralled one rebound and a had a single assist. Each of the other four starters had scored by then and the team was already in a 16-10 hole.

But when he was summoned back into the game to start the second quarter, 12 minutes into the game, he and the team immediately took off. He scored nine points on 3-of-4 shooting, including nailing a 3-pointer. He and that group, which included fellow starter Terrence Jones and three reserves, quickly erased the eight-point deficit they faced to start the quarter. He took a brief breather, before checking back in to finish the quarter and again helped the Rockets blow past the Celtics to take a nine-point halftime lead. Parsons was (plus-15) in his 10:11 played in the second quarter.

“We had a really good second quarter and that first five or six minutes of the third quarter, we were really flying around, that’s kind of how we have to play,” Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said. “Chandler adds a lot to our team. He does a lot of good stuff. He moves the ball. Without him, we lose another guy who can break down defenses and get in the paint.

"He kind of just does a little bit of everything for us. He really is a guy, that when he’s not playing, we definitely miss him. He’s working on his game all the time, he’s getting better. I think he’s much, much improved over his rookie year, he just keeps getting better.”

Parsons has raised his scoring average each of his three seasons, going from 9.5 points per game as a rookie, to 15.5 points last season, to this season’s average of 17.1 points per game. Much more importantly, his per 36 minute averages have gone up each year and his effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage have also. He’s in the top 10 in effective field goal percentage for the second consecutive season.