Along with members of the Harlem Globetrotters, Dennis Rodman visited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last week, in what the two men—now considered ‘friends for life,’ by Rodman—dubbed as a moment of ‘basketball diplomacy.’ Rodman subsequently went on network TV, Sunday morning, to relay the message that, when it comes to Barack Obama, the controversial Un doesn’t seek war; all he wants is a phone call. Public and pundits, alike, are skeptical: North Korea’s track record on human rights, and in threatening the U.S.A, is deplorable, and hasn’t shown improvement. But Rodman pleaded that the new is not the old; Kim Jong Un is only twenty-eight years old, and as a (potentially unwilling) heir to human cruelty, he’s still trying to figure out how to live beyond the shadow of his ancestors.
Monta Giveth, and Monta Taketh Away – Last night, Monta Ellis gave the Rockets ownership of the 7th seed in the West by dropping 34 points on the Jazz and carrying the Bucks to an overtime win. Enough to forget about this? Nah. But it comes close.
Chandler Bang – Parsons sat down with Rocketscast Live yesterday to chew the fat about a lot of things, and he gave a ton of insight about his career, his relationship with Jeremy Lin, and the odd position of being the team’s longest tenured guy after just one and two-thirds seasons. He also weighed in on Serge Ibaka’s nut-whack on Blake Griffin from last Sunday, saying, “I tweeted the video of (Griffin) getting me earlier this season, so you know what? Karma. He just deserved it. And that was a little brutal and a little much, but still, he had it coming.”
After the jump: the bandwagon.
Chandler Parsons just unleashed one of the most noteworthy individual games of the season against the Dallas Mavericks, torching them for 32 points on a mind-blowing 92% shooting from the field. Given his offensive improvement in the offseason, his new scoring prowess seems to be of great aid to the Houston Rockets. A brief scratch beneath the surface, however, reveals that while his increased points are a blessing, they are by no means his only value. In fact, his scoring may not even be the best thing he brings to the table for Houston.
It’s a Business – In that vein, Bill Simmons runs down the best bargain contracts in the NBA. Lo and behold, the Houston Rockets have three of them. Carlos Delfino (2 years, $6 million) gets and honorable mentions. Omer Asik (3 years, $25.1 million) comes in at number 13, and Chandler Parsons (3 years, $2.78 million) ranked number 7:
When Dork Elvis dealt a former lottery pick (Morris Twin X) to Phoenix for a future second-round pick, on the surface it seemed like a salary/minutes dump. But was it? The Rockets were betting on their history of finding second-round gems (Carl Landry, Chase Budinger and Parsons), as well as the upside that comes with locking down a potential rotation guy at an absurdly cheap price.
Our 17 best second-rounders since 2006: Paul Millsap, Steve Novak, Carl Landry, Glen Davis, Marc Gasol, Ramon Sessions, Nikola Pekovic, DeAndre Jordan, Omer Asik, Goran Dragic, Marcus Thornton, Chase Budinger, Danny Green, Lance Stephenson, Kyle Singler, Chandler Parsons and Isaiah Thomas. Including Novak (whom they waived eventually), the Rockets somehow landed four of them.
Of course, Simmons could have just waited two days, saved his breath, and shown Parsons’ highlights from last night’s beat down of the Mavs.
At halftime, Houston’s home game against the Dallas Mavericks looked all too similar to the recent close games against Milwaukee, Washington and Orlando. Harden was sluggish, the defense was weak, and the opposing shooters were raining threes. After trailing 33-31 at the end of the first quarter, the Rockets buckled down and pulled ahead by three going into halftime. And then the floodgates broke. The Rockets team that blows teams out hit the floor and stunned the Mavs with as lopsided a quarter as we’ve seen all season. The Rockets won it 44-17, leading by thirty at the end of the quarter. Chandler Parsons contributed the game of his career in a signature performance against a team that looked serious about carving out a win.