Matching up the Starting 5...
Jeremy Lin vs. Tony Parker (SPURS win, obviously)
As long as Lin languishes in Harden's shadow in Houston, he shan't shine brightly. He needs to be in a place like Memphis, where he can team with a Tony Allen-type in the backcourt. Tony's the best point in the country, no question.
James Harden vs. Danny Green (ROCKETS win, obviously)
Harden is otherworldly. Green is solid in our system. I'd be interested to see if his D on Harden can improve since last year's playoff debacle.
Chandler Parsons vs. Kawhi Leonard (SPURS win, obviously)
Parsons is a good player and has had a hot hand lately, but Kawhi is superlative.
Donatas Motiejunas vs. Tim Duncan (SPURS win)
This would be so much fun to watch. The slow, limited whatever-his-name-is being treated to free lessons by The Greatest.
Omer Asik vs. Tiago Splitter (ROCKETS win)
Don't hate me. Asik is averaging a daggum double-double. Plus his pick & roll D is consistently among the league's best. He's an excellent center, and Houston's lucky to have him. Splitter has obviously had a breakout year, and his future is very bright. Asik's just a little further along.
Now for key bench players...
Patty Mills vs. Patrick Beverly (SPURS win)
Yeah, our Patrick is better than their Patrick. And I believe our Patty will see meaningful postseason time this year. Not sure why Aaron Brooks hasn't been getting burn for the Rockets. Wasn't that long ago he was playing for Houston. Can't imagine why he needs to be brought along this slowly.
Francisco Garcia vs. Gary Neal (SPURS win)
Garcia never found a niche in Sac Town, and he's probably got less of an opportunity in NASAville. Will Neal show up in the playoffs?
Carlos Delfino vs. Manu Ginobili (Spurs win, obviously)
Delfino's been on a bit of a tear lately and has actually become one of Houston's best players. Hopefully Manu is Manu in the playoffs. Remember that title series against Detroit years ago? Nostalgia...
Greg Smith vs. Boris Diaw (Spurs win)
Diaw seems to have gained back some weight. Hopefully he sheds some before playoff season. I love his passing, and his size will be needed. Greg Smith is basically a body.
Thomas Robinson vs. Stephen Jackson, [because I refuse to evaluate Matt Bonner in the playoffs, because to do so would be to dwell on the fact that Bonner will likely play again in the playoffs] (Spurs win)
The rookie's got more potential than Jack, and he'll see increasing time since no one can pronounce the name of the guy in front of him (plus he's way more skilled). Jack, though, seems to be our Mr. May. Let's hope he brings the Nasty again this year.
And finally the coach...
Gregg Popovich vs. Kevin McHale
Do I need to say anything? I'll just say that if Pop costs us a series, as some say he did against OKC last year (I disagree, btw) he sure ain't gonna do it against Houston. Can you say sweep?