Nov 6, 2012, 4:22 PM EDT
Billups could be back by the time you’re taking a nap after eating too much turkey and stuffing, with a side of sweet potatoes. That’s what Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Del Negro said that guard Chauncey Billups is closer to returning than Grant Hill, though there is no definite timetable for either player.
Billups, recovering from surgery to repair a torn left Achilles’ tendon in February, may be able to play around Thanksgiving, Del Negro said. Hill has a bone bruise in his right knee that has kept him out since early October.
The Clippers could use Billups. Last season when Billups was on the floor the Clippers seemed to run the offense more fluidly and have a better focus on defense — two things they seemed to lack in their losses this season. Last season the Billups averaged outscoring opponents by 4.7 points per 48 minutes when he was on the court, fourth best number on the team.
With their current lineup the Clippers are going to put up plenty of points this season, the question was always defense — that determines just how good they are now and how they do in the playoffs. Through four games the Clippers have been pretty pedestrian at that end of the floor. And that may be kind.
As for Grant Hill, he will be a nice little boost off the bench when he’s ready. But that’s a long ways off.