Los Angeles Clippers guard Chauncey Billups made his 2012-2013 season debut last week after missing the start of the season rehabbing his torn Achilles tendon. The return of Billups was surrounded by one big question: whose minutes would he be taking?
That question was quickly answered after just his first game back against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He started in place of shooting guard Willie Green, who averaged 18.4 minutes per game in 14 starts this season.
It turns out that Billups’ return would cost Green all of his minutes. The Clippers knew this would happen sooner or later, but going from a starter to playing zero minutes has to be a tough pill to swallow for Green. He was actually playing pretty well this season, averaging 6.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.
Green’s biggest contribution to the Clippers early on this season was his ability to knock down the three-point shot. He shot an impressive 44 percent from behind-the-arc and 47 percent from the field, although he only took 5.2 field goal attempts per game.
There is no doubt that Billups brings a lot more to the table than just a three-point shot. He brings his leadership to the floor and always seems to make the right pass or take the right shot. This is why Vinny Del Negro needs Billups on the court and Green is the guy who has to make this sacrifice.
Green deserves a ton of credit for handling this decision like a professional. He hasn’t gone out of his way to complain about his playing time, at least not publicly. The guy has sat on the bench and cheered on his teammates despite not playing a single second in the last three games.
This clearly shows people what type of guy Green is and that he is making this big sacrifice for the better of his team.
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