Chauncey Billups Drives the Denver Nuggets
Chauncey Billups is making all the difference for the NBA’s Denver Nuggets.
When it comes to talking about who the best player in the [kwlink]NBA[/kwlink] is, you usually hear names like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and Dwyane Wade. Billups likely doesn’t even come into the discussion. Heck, he doesn’t even get brought up as the best player on his team!
Billups was traded from the Detroit Pistons to the Denver Nuggets in a deal involving Allen Iverson. Averaging 15.1 points and 5.6 assists during his 14-year career and boasting an NBA championship ring, the move united Billups with Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony is thought to be one of the most gifted basketball players on the planet and it’s no surprise that he’s had his best ever playoff performances in the 2009 NBA Playoffs. But it’s not just because he’s playing better, it’s because Billups is making him better.
Anthony is averaging 27 points, 4.3 assists and 6.4 rebounds in the 2008-2009 NBA Playoffs and is headed to the Western Conference Finals after never getting out of the first round in any of his previous seasons in the NBA.
For Billups, this is his seventh straight trip to the NBA’s Conference Finals.
Billups averaged 17.9 points and 6.4 assists this season. That’s the second highest scoring average of his career. In the 2009 NBA Playoffs he is averaging a whopping 22.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists.
Cleveland Cavalier Ben Wallace, who was Billups’ teammate in Detroit during the team’s championship season of 2003-2004 is happy to tell anybody who will listen that the point guard is one of the best players in the NBA:
“Chauncey brings something different than most point guards,” says Wallace. “He’s willing to put this team on his shoulders and he’s pulled us out of some tough situations. Anybody who cares that much about the game and his teammates, and is willing to step up and take shots like that, I definitely want him on my team.”
And that comes from a guy who now plays with LeBron James.
It will definitely be interesting to see how Billups and the Nuggets handle themselves in the NBA’s Conference Finals. Especially if they end up getting a date with the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant.