Chandler Parsons scored 15 of his 17 points on Monday during the last 15 minutes of the Dallas Mavericks‘ 104-94 win over the Phoenix Suns, and he hopes this can turn around his season. He’s had a tough time this year as he recovers from knee surgery, playing limited minutes, skipping back-to-backs and struggling with his confidence. The Suns game, in which he scored eight points in two and a half minutes as part of a 20-4 run, was a bright spot.
Perhaps Parsons’ extra work is finally paying off. He called Mavs coach Rick Carlisle on Sunday and they went through a “game-speed shooting session, running through various actions from the Mavs’ offense” on his day off, via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon:
“I haven’t had that feeling where the next shot is gonna go in in a long time,” Parsons told ESPN.com. “Just felt good. Felt like myself, felt fresh, felt bouncy.”
“I think a lot of it’s mental for me,” Parsons said. “Now we’ve got to build off this. The biggest thing for me is emotionally not getting too down, not getting so frustrated where it takes me out of my game.
“Now going into Indiana, I feel like the first shot I take is going in. I don’t ever shoot the ball thinking I’m going to miss, but coming off an injury where I haven’t played in a lot of game situations, I haven’t been playing great. It feels good to have a game like this just to know I’m feeling better and that I have a lot left.”
“He’s working his ass off,” Carlisle said. “He looked pissed. And he’s got to stay pissed.”
Confidence can be a fragile thing, especially when it comes to injuries. It’s great news for Dallas that Parsons felt like himself, but there’s no guarantee that will be the case in his next game. When he’s playing well, though, it makes the Mavs a much different team. You can understand why Carlisle wants Parsons to keep that attitude.
Dallas has been a pleasant surprise this year, and it currently has the 10th-best offensive rating in the NBA despite both Parsons and Wesley Matthews taking time to round into form. Those two are the franchise’s big building blocks, and much of the Mavericks’ future success will be determined by how they play together. Monday could have been a blip, or it could be the start of something.