Rockets-Spurs Preseason game preview

If Howard doesn't get you, Asik will. - Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets are playing a preseason game on national television. That is all.

This is a fantastic test for the Rockets. The Spurs are the gold standard in the West and were 28 seconds from winning a fifth title in the Tim Duncan Era and destroying the LeBron James Legacy.

I know there's still a lot of LeBron hate out there, but objectively I'm glad that the Heat won the Finals last year. Here's why: we've already seen LeBron deal with adversity. He fell against the Mavericks when he was supposed to win. And he bounced back and started a narrative that's awesome if you can remove your dislike of LeBron from the equation. Though to be fair, most people don't hate James anymore.

On the other hand, I'm fascinated to see how the Spurs react. They aren't used to this. They usually get their way in the Finals. They were THIS CLOSE! Of all the players in the world, Tim Duncan came up short. It's like the universe saw the Spurs about to win and went, "What if...?"

The Spurs are still reeling from that game 6 loss. They're not even hiding from that fact. But if there's one team in the league that can overcome this, it's the Spurs. If there's a coach who can get his players to bounce back, it's Pop. And you know Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili won't be playing around either. These guys are coming. They want that title.

Add in the fact that this team is only used to success. Since 1989, they've only had one losing season. And that's the season they tanked for Tim Duncan and actually won the lottery. Sometimes, luck trumps everything. And while I like their supporting cast, it's tough to see the Spurs as a great team when Duncan leaves and Parker finally starts to show some signs of age. Manu started down that road, but with their luck he could have a career year this season. Also interesting: Spurs fans are spoiled rotten and readily admit it. They know they've been given a loaded deck for the past two-and-a-half decades. Much like OKC fans, it will be interesting to see how the fans deal with the team not being title contenders.

So the Spurs season is going to be riveting. They're a League Pass team for sure.

As for the Rockets, the Howard-Asik lineup didn't look great in its first go-around. It was their first time playing together since Asik has been out with an injury for most of preseason. However, it was the first time that the starters looked mortal. I'm a homer so I don't like that.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the Rockets lineup looks tonight. McHale has used a new lineup in every game, but I think he'll give Asik and Howard another chance.

Tip-off is 7pm CST on TNT.

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