As stated on my last blog, the win against the Orlando Magic came with a big price. The Los Angeles Clippers have lost PG/SG Chauncey Billups for the remainder of the season due to a torn Achilles. This is a tough blow to the Clippers roster. Not only was Billups a starter but arguably the most clutch player on the team. No longer will the Clips have his late game heroics at their disposal or his great free throw shooting that is so vital to close out games. The man that will have to step up in his absence is SG Randy Foye because the Clippers still want SG Mo Williams coming off the bench as their super sub. Foye was a former number one pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves, he has plenty of talent and this is his chance to show his worth on a team where he has plenty of superstars to help him shine. Unfortunately the loss of Billups carried on to the game versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Clippers lost a player but would gain one as well. PF Kenyon Martin was signed by the Clippers to give them more depth in the front court. Martin is a good veteran with a great deal of playoff experience and will improve the Clips through a defensive standpoint.
On Wednesday the Clips traveled to Cleveland for the third game of their six game road trip. Coming into the game the Clips were 2-0 on the road trip and looked to possibly make it 3-0 against a Cavs team without rookie sensation PG Kyrie Erving. Erving is the leading vote getter for NBA rookie of the year and a superstar in the makings.
The Clippers got out to a fast start as they are accustom to, leading after the first quarter by double digits. But similar to the game versus the Denver Nuggets about a week ago they were out played in the second and third quarters. The Clips did manage to tie the game in the fourth quarter. The Cavs however would not fold and hit big shots to keep themselves ahead. The Clips had a chance to force the game into overtime with a last second shot by SF Caron Butler but it would hit the back iron preserving a 99-92 Cavs victory. Made me wonder is the outcome would have been different if Chauncey was there to shot the three?
Hard loss for the Clippers, especially cause of the fact that the Cavs were minus their best player. Almost feels like the Clippers came into the game a little over confident. Wins are not guaranteed in any sports and the Cavs showed the Clips they do not lay down for anybody. Both Carron and PF Blake Griffin had good games in a losing effort. Carron had 21 points and Blake pitched in with 25 points and 15 rebounds. The Clippers will head to Philadelphia where they will face the biggest surprise team of the NBA; the 76ers.
Hopefully the Clippers readjust quickly without Billups. Just last season the Dallas Mavericks were off to a great start, but would lose current Clipper Carron Butler for the entire season. They struggled after his loss but would eventually win the NBA championship. The Mavs found a new lineup to accommodate the lost of Butler and players would also step up after his loss. The Clips will have to do the same if they want to be champions at season’s end. Go Clips!!!!!!!!!