When the Los Angeles Clippers traded for Chris Paul and signed veteran point guard Chauncey Billups, many wondered how two alpha male All-Stars playing the same position could co-exist on a team in dire need of a clear leader. Yet, the Clipper took it one step further and started the season with both Paul and Billups on the floor together, and why not? Billups is a champion and Paul is a prodigy. They’re two unselfish players who take losing personal, and lose sleep over close victories.
Paul is a closer in the game. Billups is simply an NBA champion with the tendency to hit big shots when the opposing team could least afford it. Together you have two great defenders, pure shooters and born leaders. A brilliant move by the Clippers’ organization, but one that was cut short when Billups suffered a season-ending injury early.
Billups is now a Detroit Piston again, and Paul’s backcourt mate is J.J. Redick. The former Orlando Magic guard has not been in enough edge-on-your-seat moments to have an idea of what to expect when history is in the balance. Therefore, in terms of clutch, he’s N/A. When Billups and Paul were on the floor, Billups could be looked upon as teams “go-to,” even with a future Hall of Fame point guard like Paul on the floor. Redick will indeed spread the floor and take some pressure off of Paul, but he’s a bit of a liability because Paul is crucial to his productivity.
This is not a Redick problem, it’s a personnel problem. Paul needs another playmaker within the first unit. He has sufficient scorers around him, but he’ll never have the luxury of taking a play or two off without taking a seat next to coach Doc Rivers.
ChristopherBrown is a NBA writer fro RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @whatrockschris. Like him on Facebook.