The Wolves, coming off a feel-good victory last night in Sacramento, take on the Clippers tonight at Staples. A few things:
Chauncey Billups’ Return
Chauncey Billups is coming back tonight, and will be starting at shooting guard for the Clips. Chauncey averaged 14.9 points and 4 assists in 20 games last season before going down with a torn achilles. Chris Paul has called Billups “the best backcourt mate I played with since I’ve been in the NBA” and reportedly made re-signing Billups his top priority after last season.
Billups had his ups an downs last season before getting injured, and there are still lingering concerns about Billups’ age and health. It remains to be seen how well he will fit in with the CP3-Blake Griffin (and DeAndre Jordan?) nucleus.
Still, none of this means Billups isn’t a winner, that he can’t make clutch threes, or that he won’t provide veteran leadership that is sorely needed in LA. (No, Vinnie Del Negro isn’t providing any from the sideline, and CP3 can only do so much.)
Caron Butler is Good Again
As with Billups, there was a time when Caron Butler was an All-Star and one of the top small forwards in the NBA. But Butler has been an underrated piece of the successes the Clips have had this year. In my viewings on League Pass, it’s clear that Tough Juice knows his role, and plays it well. He makes the open threes, and intimidates on D.
The Buzz on Bledsoe
Eric Bledsoe now has a cult internet following. He’s a nice defensive player. Mini-LaBron? MeThinks not.
Paul and Griffin
Paul should abuse Ridnour, though Luke’s performance last night against SAC finally gives a reason for optimism.
K-Love’s battles with Griffin are epic. So, who’s the better power forward? See this article (Insider, sorry – hint: Love wins).
That’s all for now. Enjoy the tilt.