Waste of Dirk’s Money? The Early Woe of Chandler Parsons

One of the bigger deals in this off-season was when the Dallas Mavericks acquired Chandler Parsons.  Parsons had a good season with the Rockets, averaging 16.6ppg with 4 assists, but his style did seem to clash with James Harden and Dwight Howard. Seeing the writing on the wall that the two of them were set to be the cornerstones of that franchise, Parsons made a move that seemed to make sense to everyone.
Join an established team in Dallas, take some of the pressure off an aging Dirk Nowitzki, and begin to slide into the superstar role that the team is waiting for. Although some people thought the price was too high at three-years $46 million, the television deal that was looming was making everyone a little extra rich that summer.

Now that the season is under way, Parsons has not showed up to be worth the size of the contract and although the Mavs are playing great ball at 15-5 and a lock to get into the playoffs again. But it’s not because Parsons is pushing them to it.

Taking a look at the Nylon Calculus Player Consistency stats

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 6.27.28 PM

With the (simplified) look that High Variance = Low Consistency, it’s easy to see that Parsons has the highest variance on that team. He also has the second most minutes of any player, which is not great if he can’t bring you a steady hand.

Parsons shooting has dropped considerably from 47.2% to 40.9% and he’s averaging 14.9 ppg, a drop from last seasons 16.6. His Three Point % also dropped from 37% to 32.2%, but his assists might be one of the keys to what’s going on with him. Last seasons 4.0 is now a 2.4. Even though there were changes in the Rockets lineup concerning Harden and Howard, the Mavericks know who they are pretty well.

I think it might have to do with the added perimeter presence of the Mavericks over that of the Rockets. Yes, Tyson Chandler is now in the post for the Mavs, but his offensive advantage is not used the way that Howard’s is. Yes there are slashing similarities between Harden and Monta Ellis, so maybe I’m wrong about that.

But here’s Parson’s Heat Map from last season-

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 6.54.53 PM

Lots and lots of heavy perimeter action including five spots around the key that aren’t red hot, but still obvious places where he liked to spot up.

Now here is this years Heat Map-

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 6.57.37 PM

The perimeter on the right side of the basket went from lots of green to dried up. Those five spots around the key are gone. The interior is still strong and the three-point shot is getting there, but with known around the key shooter like Nowitzki, the spacing available for Parsons just isn’t there like it was in Houston. If a defense has to hang around the perimeter to guard Dirk, may as well stick close to stick it to Chandler at the same time.

Either a modified shot has to be in the works or another player that can draw defenders away from him, but Chandler is spending another guys money in the wrong way right now.


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