Lillard: What Blazers can learn from other playoff series
HOUSTON – Chandler Parsons is a young, up-and-coming small forward for the Houston Rockets who is starting to receive some national attention for his play.
The NBA Playoffs will do that to you: catapult you to a higher tier if you perform at an elevated level on a global platform. So far he has gotten off to a great start, registering 24 points and six rebounds in a Game 1 overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.
He's not short of any confidence when it comes to his small forward matchup with Nicolas Batum, who is a more established player. Batum may have the experience, but according to Parsons, he’s the best small forward in this series.
“100 percent, I’m the best,” Parsons told CSNNW.com without hesitation.
So much for being politically correct. However, you have to appreciate the candidness in what should be an intense first round series with the potential to go the distance.
Batum -- who had 14 points, nine rebounds and three assists on Sunday -- was notified of his counterpart’s comment and was a little taken back.
“He said that?” Batum asked CSNNW.com. “He’s not going to say, ‘Nic is the best.’ I understand that, but we’ll see. We’ll see at the end. I don’t care about that.”
Knowing Batum like I do, I believe he cares. He won’t admit it, though, and he probably shouldn’t. The focus needs to be kept on winning the game and how can each team come together to achieve that goal.
This isn’t a knock on Batum. Parsons just has the utmost confidence in his abilities and feels that he’s the best three-man running up and down the court in this series. He wants to be known as one of the best wings in this game. And you become that by outplaying the player opposite of you on a regular.
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“Batum is a good player,” Parsons said. “I think for what I do for the Rockets, he does for them, which is a little bit of everything. He can guard one through four, he can shoot the ball, rebound and pass. It’s a good matchup for me.”
Move over Patrick Beverley and Damian Lillard. We have a new matchup to inspect.