The Rockets Daily – February 27, 2014

Enter the Chan-Chan man(?!) – While ESPN Insiders David Thorpe and Henry Abbott could use some help in the nickname-ing department, they do have the right idea on Chandler Parsons (Video below).  And as they did when Thorpe compared James Harden to Carmelo Anthony, the guys got together to discuss Thorpe’s breakdown of the rise of Chandler Parsons (Insiders only).

Now factor in Parsons’ driving and slashing ability. The stats page lists “drives” as any time a player starts at least 20 feet away from the basket and ends up with a shot inside 10 feet. Parsons ranks third in scoring on that list behind Durant and James among players 6-8 or taller. Every other player who has scored more than Parsons on drives is a point guard, shooting guard or primary ball handler. Ty Lawson and John Wall are perhaps the league’s fastest guards with the ball in their hands. Only that pair, along with Durant and James, have a higher field goal percentage on drives than Parsons (52.7 percent).

Throw in Parsons’ low turnover rate (9.8) and we get a clear picture of a wing slasher with great size and the athleticism to produce an excellent finishing rate. He also can effectively deliver the ball to shooters or scorers when defenses cut him off. Carmelo Anthony and Luol Deng are the only small forwards who score more than 17.0 PPG with a lower turnover rate than Parsons. 

Rockets fans are probably the only people to follow the league that didn’t need to be told the value of the Hair.  But one thing that was a little disturbing was how Thorpe summed up his thoughts that Parsons might be an elite scorer if he were ever able to get a little court time sans Harden and Howard.

Or it’s possible that in another season Parsons will choose to play somewhere else for more money and fame. He is one of the NBA’s most cost-efficient players. Harden made the choice to leave Oklahoma City for more opportunity and spotlight, and as a result his scoring potential is starting to be realized.

We’ve discussed Parsons’ abilities when he plays without Harden and Howard in these pages before, so I don’t need to tell you that Thorpe might be on to something.  But it would be hard to see Parsons leave Houston for anything less than a gross overpay.  Although, articles like Thorpe’s don’t help the Rockets chances of resigning Parsons anything near what could be considered a home-team discount.  Numbers like the ones in the article are just more ammunition for his agent.

More Parsons – As if playing at the kind of level pointed out by Mr. Thorpe wasn’t enough, Parsons has also been woefully underpaid through first three years of his career.  Ben Golliver put together a list of his ten best second-round draft picks form the last decade.  Of course our man made it, all the way up at number three.

3.  Chandler Parsons (No. 38 in 2011)

If there was a single blueprint for the ideal second-round pick, Parsons just might be the guy. Not only did he arrive in the league ready to contribute after spending four years at Florida, the small forward has shown steady progress over the course of his three-year career. A perfect fit in Houston’s three-point happy system, Parsons is averaging a career-high 17.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 39.6 percent from deep. He’s proven to be very reliable despite playing huge minutes both this season and last, and he even went above and beyond to help recruit an A-list franchise center in Dwight Howard. As if that combination of production, fit, durability and team-first personality wasn’t enough, Parsons is also one of the league’s very best values, thanks to the ingenious four-year, $3.6 million contract the Rockets inked him to in 2011. If he continues to progress at his current rate, the 25-year-old Parsons could soon find himself in the discussion for an All-Star spot, even if he’s clearly Houston’s third wheel behind Howard and James Harden. His 5.5 Win Shares per year trails only Gasol and Millsap among the last 10 years worth of second-round picks.

Gasol going first was a no-brainer; a seven-footer that can shoot from the elbows, anchor a defense and pass like a guard?  Had his weight not been a problem when he was drafted he probably would have gone as high as his brother.  The rest of the list is full of solid contributors, and it already has me looking forward to what Morey might be able to do with the Knicks second-rounder this summer.

Make Yourself Comfortable – Jordan Hamilton is already proving what we already knew: Daryl Morey just sees things other GM’s don’t.

Hamilton played 24 minutes (against the Kings), making 4 of his 7 shots for 12 points and grabbing five rebounds. He said he did not have much difficulty quickly understanding his role or the Rockets offense, though there were a few possessions in which Rockets coach Kevin McHale had to remind him of the meaning of the Rockets terminology on coverages.

He followed that up with another solid performance last night against the Clippers: 24 minutes, 16 points, 3 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals, not to mention a +16 when he was on the court.  After the trade was announced, the first stat I saw (and passed on to you) about Hamilton was that he was very good in the catch-and-shoot.  I didn’t keep tabs last night but it felt like he hit every attempt where he was able to make the catch with his feet set (he went 4-8 from deep overall).

And besides proving Morey’s penchant for finding diamonds, Hamilton has also showed an apparent shift in thinking for Kevin McHale.  The coach usually likes to go with the known commodity, playing his starters big-minutes and eschewing young guys, like Terrence Jones or Donatas Motiejunas earlier this season, for players that are ready to play today.  It tells you either that Morey had McHale give him some minutes right away to see what they have or, hopefully, Hamilton has impressed McHale in the little practice time the Rockets have had since acquiring him.

Whatever the case, Hamilton’s athleticism stands out compared to Omri Casspi and Francisco Garcia.  So if he can keep shooting at this kind of rate, the Rockets have found their new 3&D.  Kinda makes you wonder if this is even necessary.



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