||03-30-2012 10:20 AM
Billups Back On Bench:
“I told Chaunce he’s got to stop being selfish again and come on the road with us too,” Paul said. “It’s no secret; we are undefeated when he’s there.”
Paul has a plan for how this could work. He knows Billups can’t fly after undergoing surgery on his Achilles’ tendon because of the need to keep the swelling down.
But two words get around all of that: Go Greyhound.
Billups laughed when he was told Paul wants him to bus to Dallas, Sacramento, Memphis and the rest of the Clippers’ road destinations, but he was dead serious when he talked about what his role will be in the postseason.
“I’ll go. I’ll be there,” Billups said. “In the postseason, I’ll put my schedule to the side and come and help the team.”
It might just be a coincidence, but the numbers are starting to back it up. The Clippers have won all five games they have played with Billups on the bench.
“I hope that I bring a good energy around the team,” he said. “I try my best to be vocal and help, but obviously, I can’t play. I think I bring a good energy around and help the camaraderie and the looseness. That’s a part of leadership.”
MKWest @ RealGM originally posted this
The savvy veteran sits next to the coaches, watching his teammates with the sharp eye of a player who has been in the league for 14 seasons.
When a man is subbed out, he often pulls him aside and offers words of advice. He has told Chris Paul to be more aggressive. He has advised Randy Foye on when to shoot.
His suggestions seem to be working.
Wednesday marked the fifth game that Billups has attended since suffering a season-ending Achilles' injury early February. With Billups in his new seat, the Clippers are 5-0.
The players don't think that's a coincidence.
Clippers assistant coach Robert Pack said that Billups is an incredible asset because his words resonate with the players.
"Not that they're not listening [to us], but it's a teammate," Pack said of the Billups. "It's a guy who's right there in the trenches with them and even though he's hurt right now, they started the season, they played with him, they battled with him, and him just giving little words of wisdom is definitely well-received."
Billups, who is currently rehabilitating his Achilles' for two hours each day, said that helping his teammates from the bench is "different."
"I just do the best that I can," he said. "It just hurts to not really be out there."
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