When Chauncey Billups went down with an Achilles Tendon injury couple seasons ago, it seemed like the end of his career. He wouldn’t let it be — he was going to leave the NBA on his own terms.
He put in the grueling rehab work and got back on the court for the Clippers last season. He played in just 22 games, starting all of them and averaging 8.4 points a game on 40.2 percent shooting. He wasn’t Billups circa 2004, but you could see him as a quality veteran role player (it’s just that the Clippers and Vinny Del Negro used him in a larger role).
Now the 36-year-old Billups wants to stick around for two more seasons, reports Chris Broussard.
That will not be with the Clippers. Los Angeles had already moved him to the two guard and with the acquisition of J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley, plus them picking up the option year on Willie Green, Billups is the guy left without a chair when the music stops.
But somebody will give him a shot. As a bench player, but a shot. He is in good shape and is as likely as anyone his age to have value to a team. He can give a team 15 solid minutes a night and be a good presence in the locker room, and there are a lot of teams that could use that.
This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.
The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.
With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.
Emphasis on “almost.”
The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.