By Vincent Bonsignore
ORLANDO – You’ll have to excuse Clippers guard Chauncey Billups for feeling a bit skittish about walking into the Amway Center arena in Orlando on Wednesday.
“Back to the scene of the crime,” Billups said, his feet immersed in a bucket of ice as he sat under a basket following the Clippers morning shoot around here.
He was talking about suffering a season-ending Achilles’ tendon injury at Amway Center last year, not far; actually, from here he sat.
But it gets even eerier.
Billups injured the Achilles exactly a year to the day of his first visit back Wednesday.
“And what makes it even weirder is, we came from D.C. last year too,” Billups said, adding one more ominous connection.
So yeah, Billups felt a little weird Wednesday, although he made it a point to tell the Clippers equipment team to make sure they didn’t give him the same locker from last year as well.
That would have been too much.
Billups will not play again tonight – he’s missed all but three games this year coming back from the Achilles injury and a bout with tendinitis in his left foot – but he will go through a team workout Thursday in which he will play some full court with teammates and hopes to be back soon after.
“Tomorrow I’ll be able to compete, get up and down the floor and see how I feel,” Billups said.
Needless to say, it’s been frustrating for Billups watching the Clippers struggle without himself and Chris Paul recently. The Clippers take a three-game losing streak into the Magic game and have lost seven of their last nine.
“It’s hard because I know even if I played right now I could help,” Billups said. “But I’m not quite ready. And I know we need a little (help) so it’s hard to sit out when we’re struggling.”
Although Blake Griffin seemed to be moving around a little better on his strained left hamstring Wednesday morning, he will not play tonight against the Magic.
Griffin was scratched from Monday’s game in Washington D.C. moments before tip-off, but he hopes to return Friday when the Clippers play in Miami against the Heat.