March 29, 2013 |
SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich coaches two of the best players in the NBA in Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, but he also has been impressed by two Clippers. Popovich had nothing but high praise for Clippers All-Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Popovich called Paul one of the toughest players in the NBA. "He's a mean, nasty man," Popovich said, affectionately. "And he's a pain in the [butt]. I don't know if there is anybody more competitive in the league than that little dude.
March 28, 2013 |
SAN ANTONIO — When it comes to the injury front, the Clippers always seem to be in the one-step-forward, one-step-backward mode this season. So it figures that just when it looked as if the Clippers were completely healthy again, Chauncey Billups aggravated his strained right groin, leaving his playing status for the rest of the season in doubt. Billups won't play against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said Thursday, and there isn't a timetable the team is able to give for the shooting guard's return.
March 27, 2013 |
NEW ORLEANS - Chauncey Billups started for the first time in three games for the Clippers and was playing well until he aggravated his strained right groin early in the third quarter. Billups left the game with 10 minutes 40 seconds left in the third and was replaced by Willie Green. Billups didn't return and has been listed as day to day by the Clippers. "Yeah, it's frustrating," Billups said. "It's always frustrating to be banged up and in and out a little bit. I just mark it down as part of the process.
March 23, 2013 |
Willie Green understands his role with the Clippers. It is to start at shooting guard when Chauncey Billups is out with an injury. It is to support his teammates when Billups is playing. It is to be a professional when he doesn't play at all. Green has been in the NBA for 10 years and he's not about to cause any problems, because he is a team-first player. "It helps from the standpoint that I can see the bigger picture," Green said. "And the bigger picture is not me moaning and complaining about a couple of games I don't play in. The bigger is picture is that everybody was brought here with the knowledge that we want to go far in the playoffs.
March 22, 2013 |
There was excitement in Eric Bledsoe's voice. Bledsoe was excited because the sore left calf muscle that kept him out of the Clippers' last five games didn't give him any pain when he was finally able to practice Friday. He wasn't ready to declare himself ready to play Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets at Staples Center, saying that "I want to" and that "we'll see. " Officially, the Clippers said Bledsoe is a game-time decision. "Yeah, I'm feeling good," Bledsoe said.
March 21, 2013 |
The Clippers are known for their soaring lobs and jaw-dropping dunks, but they'd like to be known for something else. "We want our identity to be a defensive mind-set," Blake Griffin said. After Tuesday's embarrassing 116-101 loss at Sacramento, the Clippers pored over film, analyzing their poor rotations during a game in which the Kings shot 50.7% from the field and 50% from the three-point line, and outscored the Clippers, 38-18, in the fourth quarter. A day later, the Clippers held Philadelphia's star point guard Jrue Holiday to two points on one-for-eight shooting, and limited the 76ers to 36.7% from the field in a 101-72 win. "That's the only way we have a chance going into the postseason, is if our defense is right," Chris Paul said after the win Wednesday.
March 9, 2013 |
The first adjustment Chauncey Billups had to make when he joined the Clippers last season was mental. The second adjustment Billups had to make this season has been physical. Through it all, the 16-year veteran has accepted it as a challenge to overcome. Billups was a point guard the first 14 years of his career. He called the plays, ran the team and was that soothing voice. When he joined the Clippers during the locked-out 2011-12 season, Billups was moved to shooting guard after All-Star point guard Chris Paul was acquired from the New Orleans Hornets.
February 28, 2013 |
INDIANAPOLIS — Don't expect to hear Chauncey Billups get down on himself when his game is not quite up to par. At 36, Billups is just happy to be back playing basketball for the Clippers after missing 49 games recovering from surgery to repair his left Achilles' tendon and tendinitis in his left foot. In the 10 games he has played this season, Billups has averaged 9.4 points on 45% shooting (45% from three-point range). "I'm able to move around," Billups said. "I'm still not in the type of condition that I need to be in. And just rust.
February 26, 2013 |
I'm going to gush here, the local columnist going homer on you again as I do so often. Obviously I won't be writing about the Lakers. Instead this is going to be an ode to a great friendship, and how two incredible players would rather praise each other than talk about themselves. So no way this could have anything to do with the Lakers. But as inviting, competitive and cool as I've been telling everyone that I find Chris Paul, I just spent time with his twin, Chauncey Billups.
February 12, 2013 |
— Everyone, it seems, wants Lamar Odom to score more. His Clippers teammates encourage Odom to be more aggressive on offense. Fans, the media and his critics want Odom to stop being so passive on offense. But Coach Vinny Del Negro said he doesn't really have an issue with Odom's lack of offense because his versatile forward supplies so much more. "I've talked to Lamar about that," Del Negro said. "He understands that. Lamar has to pick his spots out there where he's comfortable at. He's doing a good job in a lot of areas for us. But when he's open, he's got to make shots for us and make plays off the dribble and get to the rim. " Odom had only four points against Philadelphia on Monday night.