HOUSTON - Chandler Parsons’ mind keeps drifting back to the nine-tenths of a second that changed his life forever. Taking part in the same agonizing exercise that has no doubt consumed every single fan of the team as well, the Rockets’ forward can’t help himself from revisiting the sequence of events that led up to Damian Lillard’s series-winning shot Friday night.

HOUSTON - For Jeremy Lin, the agonizing reality of the Rockets’ season being over didn't truly hit home until his phone offered up a painful reminder that an otherwise lazy Sunday afternoon should have instead been spent on a basketball court in front of thousands of screaming fans and a national TV audience.

HOUSTON - For 98 percent of the players populating today’s NBA, averaging nearly 27 points per game in the playoffs while dishing off around six assists and corralling approximately five rebounds per contest would be cause for a summer-long celebration.

James Harden, however, resides within the league’s two percent. As a member of the NBA elite, he knows he’s held to a higher standard – namely, the standard he set for himself during his second straight All-Star season.

HOUSTON - “We’ve got to be better.”

That was the simple and succinct message Dwight Howard delivered during the first few seconds of his exit interview with the Houston media Monday afternoon.

Still stinging from the heartbreaking Game 6 loss to Portland, Howard opened up about the improvements he feels his club needs in order to take the next step toward championship contention.