Clippers May Miss Billups On D

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY BUREAU – Chauncey Billups may be done for the season. So what does that mean for the Clippers?

Billups was their starting two guard, but the Clippers do have some backcourt depth. Mo Williams and Randy Foye have played the most minutes off the L.A. bench. Eric Bledsoe returned from a torn meniscus a week ago, but banged his knee in practice and has missed the last four games.

Overall, the Clippers have been a pretty bad defensive team. Through Monday, they rank 24th in defensive efficiency, allowing 103.3 points per 100 possessions. But their starting lineup has been very good defensively, allowing only 95.3 in 272 minutes.

Billups is a part of five of the Clippers’ seven most-used lineups. But their second most-used lineup has been the starting group, with Williams in place of Billups, which makes it fairly easy to compare. We’re still dealing with small sample sizes here, but they’re the biggest sample sizes the Clippers have got.

Clippers most-used lineups

Lineup GP MIN Pace OffRtg DefRtg NetRtg +/-
Paul, Billups, Butler, Griffin, Jordan 14 272 90.7 110.2 95.3 +14.9 +85
Paul, Williams, Butler, Griffin, Jordan 13 81 95.6 120.6 113.8 +6.8 +3
Billups, Foye, Butler, Griffin, Jordan 5 72 92.0 106.0 88.4 +17.7 +28
Paul, Williams, Billups, Griffin, Jordan 7 30 94.3 129.5 115.0 +14.5 +7
Billups, Foye, Gomes, Griffin, Jordan 5 22 101.3 74.4 95.4 -21.1 -11

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

Thus far, the Clippers have been more potent offensively with Williams on the floor, but also much worse defensively. Overall, they’ve allowed 100.1 points per 100 possessions in Billups’ 607 minutes and 108.1 in Williams’ 524. Williams’ on-court defensive efficiency will go down when he plays more minutes with the starters (and Kenyon Martin when he starts playing), but the numbers so far are pretty troubling.

Assuming Williams replaces Billups in the lineup, the Clippers have a new starting group that’s just a plus-3 in 81 minutes thus far. And if they have title aspirations, their starters can’t be worse defensively than the worst defensive team in the league (New Jersey at 109.3 points allowed per 100 possessions).

The Clippers may also miss Billups in close games, but his “clutch” numbers don’t really stand out as much as you might think over the last five seasons, especially when you realize that both Chris Paul and Williams are excellent free throw shooters as well.

Clutch-time stats, 2007-08 through 2011-12

Player MIN FGM FGA FG% 3PM 3PA 3PT% FTM FTA FT% AST TO AST/TO PTS eFG% TS%
Billups 529 99 230 43.0% 40 109 36.7% 159 177 89.8% 86 43 2.00 397 51.7% 64.5%
Paul 637 152 329 46.2% 19 55 34.5% 155 174 89.1% 134 44 3.05 478 49.1% 58.9%
Williams 483 87 208 41.8% 45 104 43.3% 102 111 91.9% 63 20 3.15 321 52.6% 62.5%
League totals 14,480 34,565 41.9% 3,054 9,539 32.0% 14,143 18,248 77.5% 7,277 5,322 1.37 46,157 46.3% 54.2%

Clutch time = Last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime with a score differential of five points or less
eFG% = (FGM + (0.5*3PM)) / FGA
TS% = (PTS/(2*(FGA + (0.44*FTA)))

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John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.

15 Comments

  1. charles says:

    miss him? They just became a playoff team without much hope of making the finals. With Billups there was a different level of confidence with this team. Without him, they just don’t have that. Griffin is simply too raw and even though CP3, in my view, is a top 5 player in this league he can’t play more than one position.

  2. i have to laugh…..dooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmm and glooooooooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmm…..every writer is now bringing out their “old clipper material” (just read someone named shaun powell about “the clipper curse)…chauncey will be missed…but he was shooting 36% from the field…cp3, mo, foye and bledsoe will do just fine…if jr smith decides to throw his hat on the clip bandwagon so much the better….the defense, especially the 2nd unit, will tighten with the addition of k-mart…also the scoring from the bench will improve…every team has injuries that need to be overcome…nothing new…what is new is that the clips are for real and some writers havent come to grips with the fact that the clippers are going for “larry obrien”….gwet with it…”lob city” is coming to an arena near you.

  3. Dom V says:

    Mike Miller + mario chalmers for mo williams? gives the heat a solid PG and outside threat they need.

    Gives clippers a Solid prospect in mario chalmers and proven clutch player + a 2guard who can also shoot from the outside which they need.

  4. oscar says:

    hes still a champion

  5. Iverson says:

    Iverson is the ANSWER!!! believe me.. haha

  6. clipper #1 says:

    we should try to get j.r. smith after he is finished in china chauncey and k-mart can help convince him to come to la

  7. allaroundballer says:

    Despite his undersize at SG, Billups was Piston. Thats why he can D.

    It was fun, if you want a shot this is it. Short season kills old teams.
    I was sure the semifinalist gonna be Bulls, Heat, Thunder and Clippers.

    I hate this curse thing, c’mon Clip give us something to believe

  8. doktorhouse says:

    what about jr. smith

  9. jepot says:

    arenas? seriously?

  10. Jah says:

    they better go get arenas to take that position because if foye or williams starting then they are doom either get arenas or get an capable defender who can guard the 2 spot

  11. robby says:

    ryan gomes can defend the 2 position and so can caron butler . Kenyon could move two the 3 defensively or four hes done it in denver during the year they made it to the conference finals when melo played the 2spot. …….plus inst wilson chandler available???? im just sayn.

  12. ClipsFan says:

    The Clippers have had an exciting past week in both good and bad ways. They have ended their top 2 active losing streaks (Jazz & Magic). They were able to acquire K-Mart who has joined the team, but not yet played a game as of yet. They began their six game road trip with two wins. Billups had an Achilles injury in the second half and might be out for the season. How they rebound from this change will really show their true colors as far as a team goes.

  13. BelizeBoy says:

    Well we know that he is very important to them on both ends but let’s not forget that K-Mart just got added to the team. He brings a strong defensive presence inside and can also score. The guestion is just how well can the coachs work him into their system.