James Harden discussed the difference that Trevor Ariza has made in the Houston Rockets' lineup this season.

“His leadership, his defensive abilities, his shot-making -- all three of those things are something that we were lacking last year,” Harden said. “[Ariza] brings that ability to the table this year.”

Harden downplayed the impact of Parsons' departure over the summer, describing himself and Howard as Houston’s cornerstones and the rest of the roster as role players.

Parsons has said he does not pay attention to Ariza's play.

"I don't pay any attention to him," Parsons said recently. "Listen, many people replace many people every year in this league. He's a good, proven player in this league. He's supposed to play good for them."