Chandler Parsons played in back-to-back games for the first time since signing with the Grizzlies this summer, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. The action came Friday and Saturday against his two former teams, the Mavericks and Rockets, and although he didn’t put up great numbers, Memphis was encouraged to have him on the court. Parsons has battled through a string of injuries since joining the Grizzlies on a four-year, $94MM deal last summer, appearing in just 32 games so far and averaging less than 20 minutes per night. “Look, I signed a four-year deal. I didn’t sign a one-year deal,” Parsons said. “The team expectations for me are to go very slow. It’s going to be a long process.”
There’s more from the Southwest Division:
- Nerlens Noel may be claiming the Mavericks‘ starting center spot sooner than expected, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Noel made his first start Friday since joining the team and responded with 15 points and 17 rebounds in a win over the Grizzlies. “He did a good job, very active,” Carlisle said of his new big man. “It’s very difficult to outrebound this team and when you got a guy getting 17, that’s a big part of that. He did a very good job.”
- Many thought the Pelicans were a sure thing to grab the final playoff spot after acquiring DeMarcus Cousins, but they’re running out of time to make a postseason push, notes Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune. New Orleans was two and a half games behind Denver for the eighth spot in the West when it traded for Cousins on February 25th. Since then, the Pelicans are 1-4, with the only victory coming in a game where Cousins was suspended. They have fallen to 24-38, which puts them in 13th place, four games in back of the Nuggets. “It’s still a work in progress,” Cousins said after Friday’s loss to the Spurs.
- Cousins has adapted quickly to life in New Orleans, according to Justin Verrier of ESPN.com. He and Anthony Davis had a minus-11.9 net rating while sharing the court heading into Friday’s game, but individually they have the highest player efficiency ratings in the league since the All-Star break. Despite the struggles, Cousins has found no trouble settling into his new home. “He definitely embraced it all,” Davis said of Cousins’ experience on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans. “He kept telling me he was happy to be here.”