Kobe Bryant praises Chandler Parsons

In rookie Chandler Parsons, the Rockets may have uncovered a gem.

The 6-foot-10 small forward has been playing out of his mind in March, averaging 12.3 points on over 60.5% shooting, including 42.9% from distance, to go with 4.3 boards, all the while guarding the opponent’s best player.

Did we mention he is a rookie?

The Rockets have placed a heavy defensive responsibility on him, and Parsons has risen to the challenge. He spends a lot of time studying opponents. In fact, before the game I saw him in the locker room holding a laptop by himself, clearly reviewing game tape.

“This Artest is a bowling ball,” said Parsons.

Artest would be the least of his worries. As far as defensive assignments go, they don’t get any tougher than Kobe Bryant, who Parsons drew in Houston’s 107-104 win Tuesday night. Chandler played exceptional defense down the stretch, a big key to the Rockets huge comeback run. While Kobe scoffed at the idea that he was contained in any way, the Lakers superstar had high praise for Parsons.

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