Will Chauncey Billups Help or Hurt Clippers?
Well, the Los Angeles Clippers decided it was well worth the gamble, as the Knicks would continue to pay Billups the overwhelming majority of his $14 million left on his contract while the Clippers would pair Chris Paul and Billups in the same backcourt.
20 games into the 2011-'12 season, Billups ruptured his achilles and was done for the year. The Clippers were a solid playoff team, but nothing more without his veteran presence at the guard position. LA ended up losing in a sweep to the San Antonio Spurs in the second round and will require the extended healthy presence of their veterans if they hope to surpass last seasons' success.
The question, however, is simple; Will Chauncey's presence on the floor help or hurt the Clippers?
Simply; YES. He is a terrific free throw shooter and a far more consistent three-point shooter than Willie Green, the man who was filling the starting two-guard position until Billups returned. However, Chauncey is north of 35 years of age and is incredibly slow on the defensive end.
Chauncey has trouble defending opposing two guards because he lacks the lateral quickness required to stay in front of the opponent. Will the Clippers team defense make up for the elder statesman? Or will the Clippers need to rely more on defense in the playoffs and play Green in place of Billups?
It's hard to say that a team would be better off without one of the top three-point shooters and smarter players in the league, but is it really that crazy?
All in all, the Clippers are definitely a better regular season team with a healthy Billups - but how will his game and health translate into the postseason?