Chandler Parsons hasn’t gotten the same kind of press that James Harden or Jeremy Lin have received, but he’s been an integral part of the early success of the Houston Rockets. This raises the question: Is Parsons a hidden gem or simply a product of the Rockets system?
As an unheralded second-round pick out of the University of Florida, Parsons made his debut with the Rockets during the 2011-12 season. He wasn’t a superstar, but his 9.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game were more than could be expected from the No. 38 pick in the 2011 NBA draft.
The 2012-13 season has brought an increase in both playing time and production. Through the 15 games that he’s appeared in, he’s averaging 15.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals. Perhaps more importantly for the Rockets, he’s shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from three.
Breakneck speed has been the theme for the 8-8 Rockets, as they’re scoring 103.5 points per game, No. 3 in the NBA. They accomplish that average by leading the NBA in pace (95.1). Parsons has been a huge benefactor of the system.
James Harden is the obvious No. 1 option, but Parsons has emerged as a solid second choice on the offensive end. He leads the team in three-point shooting and is second in rebounding.
Parsons has seen the greatest amount of opportunities come from spot-up situations (43.9 percent) and in transition (21.7 percent). This is a major indicator that Parsons, while a quality basketball player, is benefiting from the style of the Rockets offense.
The Rockets, when not in transition, love to play the pick-and-roll and get to the paint. When the defense collapses, they look to find the open man on the perimeter.
With two above-average facilitators in Harden and Lin on the court, Parsons is in a great spot. He can find his spot on the court and can simply wait for the pass. He’s been awesome in this spot at the three-point line, where 33 of his 36 three-point makes have been assisted upon.
Furthering his value to the Rockets, Parsons seems to relish the big moments. He’s shooting 51.4 percent from the field and 61.1 percent from the three-point line in the fourth quarter.
Although win share isn’t the end-all-be-all statistic to measure worth, it does show a player’s value to his team and is a solid indicator of his contribution to each team win. Parsons ranks third among all players drafted in 2011 with five career win shares. He trails only Kenneth Faried (6.5) and Kawhi Leonard (6.2) in that category.
As a second-round pick, he’s crushing his original expectations. Financially, he’s a steal; he makes less than $1,000,000 per year. He fits the system better than any others in the NBA. So, what’s the answer? Is Parsons a hidden gem, or is he a product of the Rockets system?
Piece originally written by HoopsHabit for Bleacher Report
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