Nov 3, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Houston Rockets guard Trevor Ariza (1) dunks the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
A lot of NBA pundits hammered home the “fact” that life would be hard for the Houston Rockets after losing three rotation players (Omer Asik, Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin).
Those detractors claimed Parsons was invaluable and irreplaceable as the Dallas Mavericks pulled in the former Florida Gator as a restricted free agent.
Few Rockets’ fans are missing Chandler Parsons now, except maybe his female heart throb group.
Trevor Ariza has stepped up to more than fill the void Chandler left behind.
While Ariza’s numbers are sure to drop, he is currently shooting 47.8 percent from three-point range, while also posting a PER of 17.1, about 2.5 points higher than what he posted last year.
Ariza leads the Rockets in steals per game (1.86), and is a one-man fast break when he gets the ball and a full head of steam. For all that Parsons was, Ariza is quicker and a far better defender. PER does not take into account defense, remember.
As for Parsons, he is essentially fulfilling the same role at the same level
Nov 9, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons (25) shoots over Miami Heat guard Shabazz Napier (13) during the first half at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
of production he had last season. He’s averaging 13.6 points per game while knocking down just 39.1 percent of his field goals. He’s also had a dismal time behind the arc this year, hitting just 27 percent.
Parsons’ PER is just about at the league average, as it was last year, 14.9 (15 is standardized to reflect the average production of each position).
There is little doubt that Parsons has a lot of years to improve. Ariza more or less plateaued, but that level may end up still being higher than what Parsons brought to the Rockets last season.
Simply, there has been no precipitous fall off in play, excitement and production that Parsons brought last season. Oh, and Ariza also comes at half the price.
It seems like a wise move on Daryl Morey’s part, despite the mass criticism launched by wannabe GMs everywhere.
Sometimes, it’s best to just sit back and let the general managers do their jobs while assuming the fan role fully and watching the games.
Statistical Source: Basketball-Reference