Rockets coach Kevin McHale said that "it's possible" he'll pair Dwight Howard and Omer Asik for stretches vs. the Trail Blazers.
"We haven't done it a lot lately," he said. "They were effective earlier [this season] at stages, and this might be one of those games where if we're having a heck of a time with Aldridge we might try one of our big centers on him." Terrence Jones will get the first chance to slow Aldridge down, but he struggled with the matchup this season and his success or failure will be a key facet of Houston's first-round matchup.
Tim Duncan said that it would be "perfect" if he averaged 33-35 minutes per game in the playoffs.
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"I look forward to [a bigger workload]," Duncan said. "I feel good right now. I'm in shape and healthy and ready to take on those extra minutes." He hyper-extended his knee on April 10 but didn't miss any time with the injury, and Gregg Popovich's cautious management of his players should be a key to the Spurs' postseason success -- the Spurs are the only team in the league that didn't have a single player averaging 30 minutes per game.
Amir Johnson said that his ankle feels "good" as he prepares to defend Paul Pierce in the first round of the playoffs.
It's a tough matchup for Johnson and it will be even harder if his ankle limits his mobility. Since the All-Star break Johnson has averaged 10.4 points on 60.0 percent shooting, with 6.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.2 blocks per game.