During the fourth quarter of the Los Angeles Clippers' victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday, starting shooting guard Chauncey Billups tore his Achilles. His season is almost definitely over, but his career is another question. At 35 years old, Billups has no intent on calling it quits.
A five-time All-Star, the 2004 NBA Finals MVP and one of the best free-throw shooters in league history, “Mr. Big Shot” has been one of the most reliable guards in the league since the Celtics selected him with the third overall pick in the 2003 draft.
Billups was claimed by the Clippers after being waived by the Knicks this past December. He has been a valuable part of “Lob City’s” fantastic turnaround this season, as he's offered veteran leadership both on and off of the court.
Taking Billups’ place will be Randy Foye, who has started in 172 games over the course of his six-year career. An All-American during his senior year at Villanova, as well as a member of the NBA All-Rookie team during the 2006-07 season, Foye has been with the Clippers' organization since the summer of 2010.
As experienced and talented as Chauncey Billups is, Randy Foye may be a better fit for Los Angeles’ 2-guard position.
Billups is a point guard by nature and had never really played shooting guard until this season. The Clippers acquired Chris Paul to be the team’s general on the court. With Billups and his ego playing the same role, Paul was not able to be as effective as he could normally be.
Now that CP3 is the only point guard in the starting lineup, he can truly control the game without having to worry about other players getting in his way. That being said, Foye will serve as a perfect mold to Paul, as he has shown that he is willing to put the team first.
Does losing Chauncey Billups help the Clippers?
Another reason why the Clippers are better off with Foye than Billups is the fact that Chauncey has a track record of being an extreme “ball hog.”
Billups may have a career field-goal percentage of .416, but this year, he was making just 36 percent of his shots. A major reason for his dismal number of shots converted is the fact that he was averaging a career-high 6.2 three-point attempts per game before his injury. Billups was taking shots way out of his comfort zone, which cost the team valuable points many times this year.
As for Foye, his .393 field-goal percentage may not be the greatest, but he has taken much less ridiculous shots than Billups.
It is impossible to argue that Chauncey Billups is not one of the best point guards of this era. He offers a lot of experience and has shown that he can be clutch when the game is on the line.
There is no doubt that Los Angeles will have a tough time getting used to working without his abilities. However, the Clippers are filled with young stars that are trying to reach their full potential, and having a trained point guard with a big ego play the 2 could hurt the progress of the likes of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
Therefore, Billups may be a far superior player to Randy Foye, but Foye gives the Clippers a natural shooting guard that can work into their fantastic core as a role player and not a man trying to claim personal records.