Chauncey Billups still working to regain health

No one needs to tell Chauncey Billups how important the next eight days are to the Clippers.

With five games to play in that span - including Wednesday’s home game against Minnesota - and the Clippers still in a fight with Memphis and Denver in the Western Conference playoff race they’ve reached a crucial stage of the regular season.

Billups knows that, and he understands the difference he can make when he’s on the floor with the Clippers.

On the other hand, the aggravated right groin strain he suffered March 27 against New Orleans still isn’t quite right, and with the Clippers eyeing a long playoff run he knows he needs to be as healthy as possible when the postseason opens in 10 days.

Which is why he reluctantly didn’t suit up against the Timberwolves on Wednesday and why he still won’t pinpoint a definite return, other than to say he’ll be ready when the Clippers open their first-round playoff series.

“Oh yeah,” Billups said. “I’ll be back before then.”

– Reported by Vincent Bonsignore of theĀ Los Angeles Daily News