FanPost

Is it time to press the panic button on Chauncey?




Mr. Big Shot seems like he has struggled mightily on defense since coming back from injury while, in a limited sample of games, hasn't yet provided the offensive dynamics that were expected of him. Clipper Nation and the coaching staff have been hoping that Big Shot would quarterback the offense, manufacture points at the free throw line, and space the floor. So far, Big Shot's decision making and play making skills have been more disappointing than hoped. Other than a couple of sparkling passes and an infrequent long ball, Big Shot has clearly been struggling on the floor. Turnovers and sub par shooting have become an issue for a player who is near the end of his career, who is coming off a major injury, and who is undersized and fairly inexperienced as a two-guard.

Of course, the main issue with Billups is his inability to match up size-wise or athletically on the defensive end with opposing shooting guards. The Clipper Brass probably were thinking that Chauncey's offensive ability will more than offset his liabilities on the defensive end. Again, in the sample of games we have seen, that math hasn't panned out. Chauncey' sub-par play was in display last season as well before his injury when his overall shooting percentage was under 40%. 40% is rather low for an undersized, unathletic shooting guard.

While it's tempting to insert EBled into the starting two guard position, the Clippers would gain in defense and athleticism while sacrificing shooting, spacing, and decision making. In this case, Billups would play behind CP3 against lesser quality opponents. That might not be a bad way to go.

What may be a better way to go, as we approach playoff season, is for the Clippers to insert Grant Hill at the two guard spot and limit his minutes to the minutes that Wilie Green and Chauncey have played. While Hill represents a lesser threat from deep than Billups, he still provides leadership, ball handling, and decision making while providing more rebounding and scoring near the basket than Big Shot can provide at this point in his career.

You can't coach height, and Hill would give the Clippers plenty of that at the two guard while being able to match up against most of the better two guards in the league. This is Hill's last season, so there is no need to save him for anything but a championship run.

This move would seemingly present big political challenges for the team and coaching staff to see the beloved Mr. Big Shot relegated to more limited minutes or even the bench. His relationship with CP3 and CP3's free agency opportunities at the end of the season complicate making this type of decision. In the end, however, shouldn't this all be about winning now with the best personnel available rather than soothing egos, or is the CP3 relationship with Billups such a big deal that the cost of electing to increase the risk of losing now is more than offset by the increased prospects of re-signing CP3?

Please weigh in.

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