Injuries have prevented Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups from playing together in the backcourt. When will Billups return, and what kind of impact will that have on the Clippers going forward?
Billups had just come back from an Achilles injury and only managed to appear in three games before suffering tendinitis in his left foot. He’s expected to be out for at least two weeks, a blow for a L.A. team that could really use the extra body out on the perimeter.
One of the most experienced and savvy veterans out there, the Clippers were counting on Billups to be a solid contributor this season. Hopefully his injury isn’t too serious and we’ll be seeing him back on the court in no time.
While he’s sidelined, Chris Paul will again assume a lot more responsibility. CP3 is averaging 16.1 points and 9.5 assists per game, while rocking a 25.3 PER rating, clearly the highest number on the team.
He’s going to have lean on guys like Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe even more now that Billups will be out. Crwaford is averaging a team-high 17.8 points on 45.3 percent shooting, while Bledsoe has a 22.5 PER, the second-highest on the team. The Clippers would really do well to give the young playmaker more minutes whenever possible.
However, Vinny Del Negro would love a healthy backcourt of Paul and Billups as soon as feasible. Billups has averaged 15.5 points, 5.5 assists and 2.9 rebounds over his career and age hasn’t really caught him with him yet, injuries aside. He can still play at the highest level, no doubt about it.
Once Billups returns and the Clippers figure out their best possible rotation, they’re going to continue win games. They’re already doing well at 12-6 on the season, so this could have the makings of a special season for Paul and company.