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Season in Review: Chandler Parsons lives

Flashes are such a tease.

Memphis Grizzlies v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Check out previous entries in our Season in Review series here.

Chandler Parsons 2017-2018 Season

Points per 100 possessions Assists per 100 possessions Field Goal % Three Point % PER Win shares per 48 minutes
Points per 100 possessions Assists per 100 possessions Field Goal % Three Point % PER Win shares per 48 minutes
20.8 5 46.2 42.1 13.6 0.077

The season started pretty poorly for Chandler Parsons.

Remember this?

It looked like Chandler, after just one game, was heading down the path of another truly terrible season.

Then, something weird happened. Here is a trivia question for you -

Who had the best three-point percentage on the Grizzlies this past season that played in at least 10 games (Sorry MarShon Brooks) while also having a better net rating than Marc Gasol and Dillon Brooks (-3 to -4 and -13, respectfully)?

The answer is Chandler Parsons.

Finally, even after that inauspicious start, Chandler Parsons looked the part of an impactful NBA player for flashes and brief periods of time this season. He had 13 games in which he posted double-digit scoring figures, and 13 games where he made more than one three point shot. He actually defended pretty well at times throughout the season, being tasked with guarding Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant for stretches. He spent half his time on the floor at the “power forward” position, a place where he figured to make most of his impact moving forward due to his continuing health issues.

Those health issues lingered, however. Parsons never played back to back games, and he never played more than 26 minutes a game. He only played in 36 games, two more than last season, and knee soreness was often the culprit. What made this season different, however, was the fact that the Grizzlies were terrible and tanking. Parsons played well enough when he was available more often than not, and his presence actually would have made Memphis more likely to win games. So while he surely still had that soreness in his knees, it is probable that if the Grizzlies were better he would have played more. Parsons has said as much in public comments regarding playing time.

Progress, right?

He didn’t live up to the max contract. He likely never will. He may never play in back to backs, or more than 25-ish minutes a night. But he showed a bit of why he was seen as worthy of that type of money by some in the first place. Now that we are halfway through that deal, that may be the best we can hope for moving forward.

Best Game

Grizzlies fans will never forgive Parsons for hitting ten threes in a half against Memphis in a game over four years ago, but this game at home this past October (back when we thought the Grizzlies may actually be good) helped fans stop booing him for a while. The Chandler Parsons Game included six made threes, and 9-11 shooting off the bench, in just 18 minutes of play in a 14-point Grizzlies victory. He really liked playing Houston this past season - his arguably 2nd best game of the season also came against the likely Western Conference Finals-bound Rockets.

Worst Game

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

That first game of the season, where he was booed by the hometown faithful and prompted national debate on booing struggling home team players, was a low point for Parsons. He may have played worse games (five turnovers, five fouls, three points in 22 minutes of play in Portland in November sticks out as really bad) but this was the physical manifestation of the frustration Grizzlies fans felt toward Parsons and his poor play. Thankfully things got better.

Ways to Improve

It’s obvious, and will always be this way for Chandler. He has to play more games. It’s been said plenty of times before - the greatest ability is availability. It is a major reason Dillon Brooks won GBB’s MVP award for the season despite poor advanced numbers - he was being asked to more than he should have been asked to do, but he was there to try to do it. Chandler, for a variety of reasons, was not. Dillon played more games in one season (82 this year) than Parsons has in two as a Grizzly (34 last season, 36 this season = 70).

Is 82 like Brooks realistic? Hell no. Is 60? Here’s to hoping.

The Grade

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

It was terrific to see Chandler be a solid NBA player again. He is a skilled wing who can help the Grizzlies in a lot of ways if he can ever stay on the court. That is an extremely large “if” at this stage though, and any skepticism of Parsons being able to play consistently is fair. The frustration that began this season, though, should be somewhat alleviated at this stage of the Parsons era in Memphis. Be mad at Chris Wallace for signing him, be angry at the situation it puts the Grizzlies in cap-wise.

But Parsons has done his best to be his best. His improved play this season showed it. Even though he only played 16 more minutes this season than last, not enough for a B or better, that is still worthy of applause...and a passing grade a year after being called a failure.


Grade- C

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