Yes, veteran guard Chauncey Billups is back in the Clippers’ starting lineup, playing his second game Saturday night after suffering a season-ending torn left Achilles’ tendon last Feb. 6 in a game against the Orlando Magic.
No, the Clippers haven’t stopped monitoring his recovery from the injury, which figures to be a lengthy process that could last the entire season. They also will keep a close watch on several other nagging ailments.
For instance, Billups suffered minor back and calf injuries that delayed his return to the active roster by several weeks. What’s more, Billups didn’t practice with his teammates Friday simply because he was sore after making his season debut.
“His back is feeling a little bit better,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said.
Del Negro said earlier this week he plans to play Billups only 20 minutes per game for the foreseeable future, with backups Eric Bledsoe and Jamal Crawford forming a backcourt rotation alongside point guard Chris Paul.
“I really think it’s going to be a month or two before I’m back to being myself,” Billups said. “Whatever I am right now, I think what the team needs from me more than anything is knowing how to play and how to win, where the ball should go. …
“Everything else, I’m going to be patient with that.”
Billups scored six points on 2-for-5 shooting in the Clippers’ 116-81 rout of the Sacramento Kings in 18 minutes, 12 seconds. He also had two rebounds and three assists. He had seven in his debut in Wednesday’s win over Minnesota.