May 2, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Houston Rockets centerDwight Howard
(12) reacts after Portland Trail Blazers guardDamian Lillard
(0) last second shot in the second half in game six of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center.
Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
The 2013-2014 season for the Houston Rockets, in essence, was a disappointment, and players aren’t holding back from the letdown. The image of Damian Lillard draining a buzzer-beating 3 in Game 6 that clinched the series for the Portland Trail Blazers still sticks in Chandler Parsons‘ head, but it’s clear that the focus now has to shift into offseason mode.
Parsons didn’t hold back on the pain of the loss when speaking to reporters Monday afternoon at Toyota Center:
“It’s been a painful couple days, I still just kind of rethink and replay everything we could have done different. So disappointed. Awful feeling to be knocked out in the first round after how hard we worked. We just need to be more together. We need to be more of a team. Whether you start or you are on the bench, you’re still a critical part to our team. Everyone has to understand that.
Can’t have any hidden agendas. Just have to go out there, and everybody has to have the same goals. Our goal is to win a championship. Now we have to watch somebody else hold up a trophy at the end of the year. We have to watch teams that we played all year long and beat compete for something that we wanted. It’s tough. We have to remember this feeling, work this summer and come back hungry, ready to dominate.”
It was shown very clearly throughout the season just how close the team bonded with one another both on and off the court. However, that wasn’t the case in the playoffs, and Dwight Howard wasn’t shy about holding back his thoughts:
“If guys don’t have the right mentality, no matter how many parts you have on the team, you’re not going to win. We have to all be on the same page on and off the court, and we have to all play for one goal. It all has to be about (winning a) championship.
We are close off the court, but we have to be that way on the floor at all times. We have to have each other’s back. I told the guys the whole playoffs, we’ve got to be like a band of brothers.
Going back and watching the film and how that Portland team was is something these guys can learn from. They were together – the bench, the coaching staff. Every play, they looked like they were all in it. Not saying our guys weren’t in it, but small things make a big difference in the playoffs. Having that support, having that team chemistry, being seasoned, going through the fire can really help a team.
In the heat of the battle, you’re going to yell at each other, you’re going to have your moments on the floor. But being on the same page is understanding there is only one goal, and that’s winning the championship. If you’re not about winning the championship, if you’re not about growing as a player, growing as a team, then you shouldn’t be here. My only goal is to win. If you’re not about winning, we’re not on the same page.”
As for the outlook for this summer, the sentiment shared is that there shouldn’t be any major moves. The team, in general, wants the roster to return, and Parsons stated that notion:
“I don’t think we should make any big changes, I’m sure they’re going to want to add some guys and make our team better, but we’ve got great guys in the locker room. We have talented players. We’ve just got to find a way to put all that together. We can’t use it as an excuse that this was our first year (together). We’re too good for that. We’re too talented for that. This hurts so bad you have to use that for motivation going forward and learn from our mistakes we made this year.”
Grade for the Houston Rockets 2013-2014 Season