The Lob Clippers lose a key addition, but gain a forward. Plus, where will J.R. Smith land once his season ends in China? It’s the Association Bills.
So Long Mr. Big Shot
Billups’ absence creates an opening for Mo Williams who has played rather well as the 6th man for the Clippers. Williams and Randy Foye will need to pick up a heavier load. Williams said it best to Broderick Turner of the LA Times, “That’s a big loss for us, losing Chauncey, We’re going to see how valuable he is for us when we miss him.” Chauncey is a leader and has a knack for the “Big Shot”, hence his nickname. At 35, one has to question how much quality basketball Billups has left in the tank. Just a devastating injury.
The Clippers did get some good news will the signing of PF Kenyon Martin. Martin, the former Nugget, has a career average of 13.5 PPG over his 11-year NBA career in New Jersey and Denver. However, Martin’s numbers have regressed and his play overseas against lesser talent was uninspiring.
J.R. Smith Factor
Like Martin, Smith is playing in the Chinese Basketball Association. The contracts they agreed to during the NBA lockout prohibited them from returning to the NBA prior to the end of the Chinese regular season, which is 2/16.
Smith is a highly coveted free agent–and his services will be available right after the NBA All-Star break.
The Clippers are among several teams including the New York Knicks (possible favorite) and San Antonio Spurs who absolutely NEED a point guard.
As of now, the front-runner is NY, where Smith could reunite with Carmelo Anthony and play more minutes.
In LA, Smith would provide depth. HC Vinny Del Negro has done a fantastic job rotating players to keep them fresh for the long haul.
Smith’s boisterous personality leads me to believe he’ll wind up as a Knick alongside Anthony with the stardom of New York on his chest.
Speaking of Carmelo, he will miss 1-2 weeks with a groin strain. He came up limping just six minutes into the Knicks win over Utah at the MSG.
The Nuggets are hurting.
Forward Danilo Galinari is out … and possibly for a while. He severely rolled his ankle Tuesday against the Houston Rockets. Galinari is fresh off a $42 million contract extension. The Italian forward will wear a boot for about a week and be reevaluated as the month progresses.
The Nuggets depend on the 6’’10 Galinari to drive to the basket–which creates open shooters around the perimeter.