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Chandler Parsons out tonight vs. Clippers

Planned rest...or something more?

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The much-maligned Memphis Grizzlies starting small forward is getting the night off.

Chandler Parsons is sitting out tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, according to the Grizzlies Communication department.

Parsons remains a hot topic of conversation among Grizzlies media and fans alike. His struggles are clear- even Chandler himself admits that he “sucks right now”, to use his own words. And it is not uncommon for him to have these nights off- he has taken seven games off since his return from a knee injury as part of a planned “recovery day”.

But a majority of those- four, to be precise- were part of back-to-back sets, and only one of those seven was after more than a day of rest off. So the knee soreness portion of the release- and the lack of the word “planned” before “recovery day”- perhaps speaks louder than maybe it has in the past.

Is it an attempt to hide Parsons from a poor performance in arguably the biggest game of the season? Or a move by Head Coach David Fizdale to try to get this “must-win” game by giving Chandler the out of a night of rest while getting more production out of those 20 or so minutes usually occupied by Parsons? Could it really be a part of the Parsons process? Or is there something more there...

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Anything is on the table at this point. Fizdale has been quite the defender of his continued use of Chandler, so it’s possible this is all a piece of the long-term plan. But tonight is the most important of Fizdale’s first year to this point- it’s also possible that he still believes in Parsons but not for the needs of the team on this night.

A loss to the Clippers tonight would mean the likely end of five-seed dreams. Resting the Grizzlies controversial investment and starting James Ennis or Vince Carter will likely make Memphis more competitive in a game the Grizzlies need and let Parsons heal up...as much as he can, at least.

It may be the best of both worlds...at least for one night.

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