(Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports via Reuters/Chris Nicoll)
Point guard: Chris Paul, Houston Rockets vs Utah Jazz
You know who really, really wants to get to the Western Conference finals for the first time in his otherwise storied NBA career?
He is coming off a big game in which he totaled 27 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in Houston's Game 4 victory and has this opportunity to get this huge albatross off his career reputation and is not taking anything for granted after his Los Angeles Clippers blew a 3-1 lead to the Rockets in 2015.
His relatively low cost considering the money that will be spent trying to shoehorn Anthony Davis and/or Kevin Durant into your lineup plus a motivated point guard means Paul should be a good fit.
Alternate option: Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz @ Houston Rockets
With both Ricky Rubio and Dante Exum ruled out for Game 5, the Jazz rookie guard could conceivably play 40-plus minutes while being spelled in short bursts by Alec Burks. The increased responsibility of running the offense and trying to contain James Harden on defense have worn on Mitchell, but the added offensive burden also means added shots and an opportunity to have a potential 30-point, ten-assist night if it breaks properly, and he costs roughly the same as Paul.
Low-cost option: Quinn Cook, Golden State Warriors vs New Orleans Pelicans
The choice of Cook at the point guard position is because Rockets guard Eric Gordon is better utilized as a low-cost option at shooting guard or utility player. Cook made a solid contribution off the bench in Game 4 with 12 points on five-of-eight shooting while making a pair of 3-pointers. Considering the Warriors have won 14 straight postseason games, Cook could see extended minutes if this game gets out of hand.