When the Detroit Pistons agreed to a deal with veteran point guard Chauncey Billups this summer heading into the 2013-14 NBA season, I legitimately believed it was more out of respect and so that the former Pistons’ star could retire with the team that he brought so much to during their glory years in the 2000s.
It may only be one game and it may just be the season-opener where a lot of crazy things happen around the league, but that belief of mine seems absolutely silly. As the Pistons took their first game of the season by a score of 113-102 over the Washington Wizards, Billups was one of the stars of the show.
Playing 31 minutes in the game, Billups finished the night with 16 points, five assists, three boards and one steal on the night while shooting 4-8 from the field, 4-5 from long-range, and hitting all four of his attempts from the charity stripe.
Billups showed little to no signs of the fact that he’s 37 years old heading into the year and that he’s played over a decade and a half in the league. He was finding his shot and knocking it down, as well as finding his teammates for good looks throughout the night. It felt like we were back in his glory days rather than Billups being back in Detroit to pay respect for those glory days.
I still believe that expecting Billups to keep this kind of production up for 82 games is a pretty ludicrous notion. He’s old, has had recent injury issues, and won’t see as many minutes or as big of a role when Brandon Jennings returns to action. However, if he can be a knockdown shooter off of the bench for the Pistons this season and stay relatively healthy, he could surprise me and possibly give the Pistons a boost into a playoff berth out of the East.