Is Chandler Parsons Another Star in the Making for the Houston Rockets?

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 5, 2013

Feb 20, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets small forward Chandler Parsons (25) attempts a free throw during the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Thunder 122-119. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

When the Houston Rockets blitzed the Dallas Mavericks 136-103 on Sunday night, they did so fueled by a career performance from their burgeoning, beardless star.

Sophomore forward Chandler Parsons put on as good of a shooting performance as the NBA has seen this year.

Maybe even the best one yet.

Parsons scored a career-high 32 points on a scorching 12-of-13 performance from the field. With 30-plus points and a 90-plus field-goal percentage, Parsons joined some elite company:

Elias Says Chandler Parsons joined LeBron as only players in last 3 seasons to score 30+ pts while shooting 90+ pct

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 4, 2013

Not too take anything away from James' feat, but his lacked just a bit of the luster from Parsons' explosion.

James dropped 31 points on the Charlotte Bobcats back on Feb. 4, connecting on 13 of his 14 field-goal attempts. But James didn't attempt a three, while Parsons launched seven (making six).

Not saying that Parsons will be challenging "The King's" throne in the near future, but this was just another piece of mounting evidence that the Rockets' highly sought-after star may already be on the roster.

Due to the dramatic roster overhaul undertaken by the Rockets this past offseason, most people forget that Parsons was the highest-scoring returning player on Houston after finishing a strong rookie campaign with 9.5 points per game.

His name was quickly lost in general manager Daryl Morey's bountiful summer harvest, that brought the poison pill brothers (Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik) to the Rockets. Morey followed those transactions by prying reigning Sixth Man of the Year James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder just days before the 2012-13 season tipped off.

Harden (26.2 points per game, fifth-best in the NBA) has been the prized pick of the litter, while Lin (12.8 PPG and 6.2 APG) and Asik (11.6 RPG and 10.4 PPG) have proven their worth. 

But Parsons has remained Harden's ultimate supporter (15.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 3.7 APG), consistently filling box scores better than any beardless Rockets player. And as Sunday night's dominant showing hinted, the best may be yet to come for the 38th player selected in the 2011 NBA draft.

With the Rockets (33-28, seventh in the Western Conference) destined for a dog fight to snap the franchise's three-year playoff drought, they'll need all hands on deck to make a strong postseason push.

Houston has enough talent on the roster to not need these types of efforts from Parsons on a nightly basis. 

But with each 20-plus point effort added to his resume (Sunday's was his 16th of the season), it's clear that their young star is just scratching the surface of his talents.

Before too long, this could become more of an regularity rather than an anomaly.