Paradise Lost is an epic blank verse poem by John Milton describing the scheming of the Devil to outwit Adam and Eve and bring the world to a place of death and darkness. The fictional poem seemed am appropriate metaphor for the Chandler Parsons experiment that the Memphis Grizzlies have been wrapped up in for the past 15 months.
The poem begins in hell with the forces of darkness trying to figure out how to continue their war against their enemies in heaven. This is fitting after the 34-game fiasco last year with the $94 million dollar man. We are in hell Grizzlies fans- there is just no way around it. The elation of the biggest free agent signing in Memphis history has turned to ash in our mouths. No matter how many ways you slice it, Chandler Parsons does not appear ready to be a key contributor to the 2017-2018 Memphis Grizzlies...at least how the Grizzlies and their fans expected him to be.
He looks better. I'll give you that. He moves better, he cuts harder, and he has a fraction more lift on his jumper. But there is no way he is even a shade of the player he was early in his Dallas Mavericks days. Every single preseason game thus far, I watch for some sign of life. There has little to be optimistic about. In fact, there has been every indication of just the opposite. Parsons has been relegated to the bench with the window dressing of...
"Oh he can dominate the second unit."
"Playing him in shorter spurts with the bench group will be successful."
"He is progressing well, just need to give him a bit more time."
I'm done giving any weight to the words of optimism surrounding Chandler Parsons. Don't get me wrong, I want him to be healthy and dominant more than just about anything else for this team. He is the definition of unfulfilled potential right now. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe Fizdale is just giving him an extended rehab during training camp and the preseason. That's great, but to this point he doesn't look like an NBA contribute, much less the 3rd best player on a playoff team.
The silver lining here comes at the end of Paradise Lost. Adam is given a vision of the future. It's a vision of hope. The world would never be as good a place as it once was, but there would be joy in the end. What is our Grizzlies paradise? Will Parsons become a double digit scorer on a playoff team? Or is our hope for the day his contract is no longer on the books of the Memphis Grizzlies?
No matter what your dream of Chandler Parsons future is, one thing remains certain.
Whether founded or unfounded, there is always hope...