Chauncey Billups out again with a new ankle injury

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Chauncey Billups has only been back with the Clippers for the team’s last three games, but he’s already sidelined once again due to injury.

Billups went down with a torn Achilles tendon last season, and worked extremely hard to make it back.

But he was forced to sit out of Wednesday night’s home contest against the Mavericks due to an inflamed tendon in his left ankle, a new ailment that is unrelated to his previous injury.

From Melissa Rohlin of the Los Angeles Times:

“I just kind of feel like I’ve worked way too hard to get back to play hurt, you know what I’m saying,” Billups said.

Billups, who returned to the court Nov. 28 against Minnesota after recovering from the Achilles’ injury he sustained last February, said that his ankle began bothering him during a game against Utah on Monday.

“Honestly in that Utah game … it was really painful,” he said.

“I couldn’t really push off of my left foot. It was just really weak. I couldn’t explode off it. I couldn’t cut. Everything I was doing, I was just getting through it. I’m like, ‘I should be better than this.'”

There’s no timetable for Billups to return, and obviously the team isn’t going to rush him back before he’s fully ready.

Billups wasn’t exactly his old self yet in the three games he did play this season, posting averages of just over seven points and two assists per game in 20 minutes of action. He did, however, flop his way to some free throws that were instrumental in the Clippers’ win in Utah on Monday.

Anthony Davis challenging Michael Jordan as best opening-game player on record

AP Photo/Michael Wyke
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Anthony Davis called himself the NBA’s best player.

He sure backed it up last night.

Davis posted a 32-16-8-3-3 to lead the Pelicans to a 19-point win over the Rockets, considered by many to be the NBA’s second-best team. The performance immediately vaults Davis to the forefront of any MVP discussions.

But for him, it was just par for the course. Davis has repeatedly dazzled in season openers. When 18-6-2-3 qualifies as the dud, you know Davis is doing something right.

Davis’ box scores in New Orleans’ first game each season:

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That makes Davis’ average season-opener game score 24.1, one of the best ever. Only Michael Jordan has a higher mark on record (since 1983, as far back as Basketball-Reference records go; minimum: three games).

Here are the leaders:

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Obviously, Davis cares more about how he finishes than starts. The Pelicans have made the playoffs only twice with him, getting swept in the first round in 2015 and falling in the second round last season.

But it should be clear by now: Davis comes to play as soon as the season tips.

PBT Extra: Boston can be team to dethrone Golden State Warriors

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I’ve heard it from friends. I’ve seen it on NBA Twitter. I’ve debated it with sports talk radio hosts.

“This NBA season is already decided, nobody has a chance against the Warriors.”

Not true.

Boston has a shot, as I get into in this PBT Extra.

Absolutely the Warriors are the odds-on favorites to win it all, if healthy they should three-peat. They were my pick. But I believe Boston has a legitimate shot to dethrone the Warriors — they have the wing athletes, the switchability on defense, the scoring, the versatility. A Boston/Golden State Finals is going six or seven games… if we get there. It’s just day two of a long season.

But I believe in Boston.

 

Boban Marjanovic dunks so hard (with his feet touching floor!), rim must be checked for levelness (video)

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The Nuggets had no answer for Boban Marjanovic.

Neither did L.A.’s rims.

The 7-foot-3, 290-pound Clippers center scored 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting with eight rebounds in 18 minutes. The Clippers outscored Denver by seven with Marjanovic on the floor, but got outscored by 16 otherwise in a 107-98 loss last night.

Marjanovic just doesn’t have the stamina to play huge minutes, though he caught an extra breather when officials stopped the game to check the levelness of a rim Marjanovic dunked on – with his feet still on the ground. Incredible!