Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Chandler Parsons; A Big Piece Of The Houston Rockets

 “The stars at night, are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.”

There are plenty of big name players on the Houston Rockets from Dwight Howard to James Harden. The Rockets have plenty of firepower. But the unsung hero of the Houston Rockets is starting small forward, Chandler Parsons; the versatile 6’10 forward who plays a bigger role than most people think, on one of the most exciting teams in the NBA.

Parsons, from Casselberry, Florida played alongside fellow high school stars Nick Calathes and Joey Rodriguez. Together, they won the 2007 5A state championship where Parsons was named the MVP of the state championship game. He went on to attend the University of Florida and under the tutelage of Billy Donovan, began to shape his game. Chandler was known at Florida for hitting big shots as he hit unbelievable buzzer beaters against NC State and South Carolina during his time as a Gator. He stayed in college all four years a move which for today’s young players hurts their draft stock.

Parsons was selected 38th overall in the second round of the 2011 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets, and instantly found his way into the rotation. He started 57 of the 63 games during a shortened season and averaged almost ten points per game, playing well enough to be named to the ‘All Rookie Second team’. During the summer of 2012, the Rockets added Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, both impact players who would help make the Rockets a contender in the Western Conference. They then traded for James Harden, an explosive scorer who provides another option in the offense.

All the changes happening within the structure of the team did not seem to phase Chandler. He welcomed all new players with open arms. He even tweeted a screenshot of a text conversation he had with Jeremy Lin about Lin sleeping on his couch until his furniture came in. You see, Chandler is the ultimate glue for a team. Not only does he provide a multitude of assets on the floor, he brings teammates together.

Bringing teammates together is an underrated asset to any team. In today’s NBA with mega contracts surpassing 100 million dollars, the size of some of the egos of players is unbelievable. When there are too many egos in one room someone is bound to get their foot stepped on. This causes friction and problems in the long run, and when a player like Chandler is in your corner, he is there to help resolve such issues before they even happen.

During the 2012 season, Parsons saw increased minutes as he provided increased production. He did a little bit of everything, shooting 49% from the field, 39% from the three, while grabbing 5 boards, 3 assists and 15 points per game. Let’s not forget, most nights he was assigned to guard the best wing player on the other team. His ability to stretch the floor allows slashers like Lin and Harden a kick out opportunity, but can also help hide Harden’s defensive flaws on the other end of the floor.

Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Parsons played a huge role during the Dwight Howard sweepstakes luring the All-Star to Houston. Both Parsons and Howard share the same agent and began a friendship back when Howard was on the Orlando Magic. Parsons and Howard texted frequently during the summer as Parsons would answer any questions Howard had. Parsons used the idea of teaming up Harden, Lin, and himself as being a force to be reckoned within the Western Conference. He also discussed what it is like playing under Kevin McHale and the benefits of working with Hakeem Olajuwon. Parsons became the bridge between Howard and the Rockets, and he helped bring the two parties together.

The addition of Dwight Howard to the Rockets aided Parsons in numerous ways. Last season he continued his hot start to his NBA career, shooting around the same percentages from the field but also increased his scoring to almost 17 points per game. He had a few very memorable moments as well, last season. He hit an NBA record, 10 three pointers in a half against the Memphis Grizzlies back in January. He set his career that night with 34 points.

Chandler Parsons is a high character athlete who provides many different assets to the Houston Rockets. He continues to develop and expand his game, and Rocket fans should be excited to see what he brings to the table next year. I believe he is the perfect fit for the Rockets because he doesn’t demand touches on the offensive end but can still get his points in the flow of the game. His perimeter defense combined with Howard’s post defense should serve to give opposing teams fits. Parsons doesn’t get the credit he deserves when it comes to the successes of the Rockets, but believe me, he is going to turn some heads next season.

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Tags: Chandler Parsons Houston Rockets

  • Adult Supervisor

    Fans who closely follow the team know that Chandler Parsons is an emerging all star. He is a very hard worker who has improved his game each season. It isn’t unreasonable to think that he may boost his scoring average to 20 points a game this coming season. He’s also a valuable defender and an amazing ball handler for someone his size.

    Chandler could be next season’s Paul George in terms of all-star recognition.

    Daryl Morey better not trade Parsons. If he does, he’ll have to schlep around Houston wearing a disguise or face a lynch mob of angry fans.

    • MH5

      I don’t know about the All-Star. Maybe if he goes to a new team, but in Houston not sure if he’ll get enough touches for all that. I do think he gets better every year and that’s something you love to see in young players.

  • Todd DelGiudice

    Overrated. Will not be an all star. Sorry :(

    • MH5

      I don’t think he’ll be an all-star. That’s okay not every player needs to be all-star. Parsons brings teammates together. If he leaves the Rockets I wish him the best of the luck.

  • jcsantos

    Parsons is still very lacking in the defensive department and gets blown by about half of his assignments, though he can very much improve in a couple of years.

    The sad thing is he REALLY prefers his team to play team ball as shown by his post game interview after playing without Harden (then subsequently got minimized minutes next couple of games then shot poorly for another couple of games). Team ball is not going to happen while McHale and Harden demanding the Rockets to follow the Harden iso play 90% of the time.

    His disappearances in the 2nd half is caused by McHale’s maximizing of his minutes, along with every other starter, making him gas out towards the end and WILL make him injury prone, so I’d really prefer him to play somewhere else where he can both shine and be in a winning team.

    • MH5

      Defense is pretty low on the Rockets priority list if you ask me. James Harden gets lost way too often. Parsons at least puts some effort into the defensive end. What changes to the offense do you think the Rockets should make?

      • jcsantos

        Wow it’s been a month since this article is posted, but I’ll go ahead and reply to you anyway.

        Rockets need BALL MOVEMENT. Their average points per game got bloated by facing below 0.500 teams that were either not skilled enough to handle Harden and Howard together or their coach was an idiot to not notice the Rockets’ iso-dependent plays. Teams such as the Blazers in the playoffs have exposed this Rockets culture and have subsequently dismantled the Rockets offense (though the Blazers still have to fix their defense) by just focusing on that ONE guy who will undoubtedly go iso. Double/triple the Howard/Harden iso without ANY fear of them passing (coz chances of that happening are minimal) and you get a good chance of causing a TO on their side.

        The iso-dependent plays have led McHale to maximize their minutes, causing injuries to Howard and Beverley by end of regular season and Harden to gas out by end of most games by somehow FORCING him to play defense (the reason he still lasts long minutes is because he has ZERO effort on defense). Note that the only times the Rockets ever have good ball movement were games where Harden was absent. Parsons criticized his iso after winning a game without him, then mysteriously got benched long minutes in the following games.

        • MH5

          Isolation basketball is what most NBA teams primarily run. There are few teams that run a system based offense but most teams rely on quick hitters, pick and rolls and isolations. Ball movement comes from trusting teammates with requires team chemistry.

          I am interested to see what changes will be made to the offense, if any. The Rockets do need a “defensive coordinated” since McHale doesn’t teach defense. Lionel Hollins would have been ideal, but that ship has sailed to the Knicks.

          James Harden is a shoot first player and it will be hard to get him to focus on passing and defense.

          I think you meant to say that McHale overplays his players and I can agree, look what happened to the Chicago Bulls and Thibodeau’s system; they always run out of gas as well. In contrast the Gregg Popoavich of the Spurs manages their players minutes throughout the season so they are ready to go when it is playoff time.

  • Jah

    Damn dude, are you trying to get in bed with Parsons or something? I mean, I can name other players that does the same stuff as Parsons so don’t think he’s some trailblazing, Pioneer, and the first of his kind.

    We have to strike now on Parsons or we’ll never get this opportunity to trade in our chips for a bigger one.

    With names like, Melo And Rondo, and the situation those guys are in, it’s an enticing opportunity for us to score big and get our Big Three. That’s the focus, here.

    As you can see how difficult it is trade Lin and Asik, straight-up, let’s not fool around with Parsons and wait til his value drops for whatever reasons and put at a disadvantage to trade him.

    • MH5

      You can name players that do the same things on way bigger contracts, period. I agree if the Rockets can get Melo go do it. I’m just saying Parsons’ work goes unnoticed since he’s not the star.

  • K Miles

    Great Article, I really do believe that Chandler is the glue of the Rockets. He has so much potential and a great attitude, I mean who doesn’t like to see a young kid succeed?

    • MH5

      Kirby! You’re awesome! Hope all is well! Hopefully I’ll see you around next time I’m back in Orlando!