Tuesday, June 21, 2005


We seem to have moved on to a debate about whether Chauncey Billups is the right point guard for the Pistons.
My answer is yes.
My fear is will he continue to be when his mentor Larry Brown leaves at the end of the season as Pistons coach.
Brown has done a masterful job of turning Billups into a talented but unproductive point guard into someone who feels games and makes good decisions. Now is he the classic point guard like John Stockton or Eric Snow? Of course not.
There are few of those guys left in the league. My definition of a point guard is someone who makes his teammates better and sets them up. Billups does that.
He feeds the scoring machine of Rip Hamilton and he knows who is hot and who is cold and makes decisions appropriately.
However, Billups realizes the Pistons lack a lot of scoring options. Ben Wallace is not a scorer so that leaves him with three options to go to on the floor. This team turns unproductive offensively and when that happens Billups allows his first instincts to take over.
The dude can score and he has made some of the most classic drives down the lane I've seen in a while.
You are right. He is a scoring guard playing point.
He does not do the right thing all the time. But he does the right thing enough times.
Remember he was the Most Valuable Player of the 2004 NBA Finals. And as it stands now he is the Pistons MVP of this series.
The dude is not perfect. But in today's game, he is good enough for me.


Blogger dt said...

Glad I could contribute to the dialog ! ;o)

The point guard position in the NBA has been significantly transformed over the past 25 years as coaches have taken more control of the game. Isolations and set plays are much more prevalent then they were when Magic revolutionized the position. Consequently, there is less a premium on "creating" scoring opportunities for teammates. (And I don't necessarily think this is a good thing, btw!)

It has therefore become more important to have 'players' on the floor (who make plays) at as many positions as possible and guys like Chauncey Billups at the point epitomize that transition. He is not your 'true' point guard in the 'classic' or historical sense of the position. But he has done a more than admirable job in his time here in deferring to his teammates and getting them involved in the offense. His game is a poor-man's version of Zeke - another score first PG who learned the value of the position.

There is little question in my mind that a classic point guard can still make teammates better, but what is in question is whether the classic point guard can have enough of an impact to win an NBA Championship. Since Magic Johnson entered the NBA, only he, Isiah and Chauncey have won Finals MVPs as point guards while the list of starting point guards on championship teams has also included the likes of BJ Armstrong, Ron Harper, Avery Johnson and Derek Fisher. Hardly an imposing bunch. In fact, I'd argue the only 'true' point guards to win championships in the past 25 years are Mo Cheeks and Kenny Smith!

So who would you rather have on your team - John Stockton or Dennis Johnson? Steve Nash or Chauncey Billups?

I, too, share the concern with Terry that if/when Larry Brown leaves, Chaucney's role could change. But in the meantime, give me the player that can makes plays both indiviudally and by setting up his teammates.And that player is Chauncey Billups.

7:32 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

Now Dt you know that alot of us contribute to this blog. As far as the point gaurd deal I think gone are the days of the classic point gaurd You need a hybrid. I hope like Terry the chauncy contiinues what Brown has taught him. Which is why I am really concerned on who comes in. I also hope that chauncy continues to work on his passing game. I will keep harping on this until Brown is out for sure. Where would the pistons be with out him. Ben although his offense is a crime at times at least he has improved under Brown. We all must admit that Rip game has improved (He still needs to work on his handles and being able to create for himself) Chauncy is playing the best point gaurd that he has ever played. The only fault I have with Brown is Darko ( I do wonder Darko's work ethic and he has not had a full off season). Even though the pistons still have their droughts at least their scoring is up overall and their offensive are much better. Could Carlisle do this ? Helll to the No. I remember Iverson made the comment Brown was the best he ever had (Mo cheeks Is yet to be seen) and he did not realize it until he left. So overall I would take all the baggage that Brown had and smile. One more for those that think Carlisle would have won with Rashid. Let;s get real Rashid and Carlisle would have been like Oil and Water. Hell there might have been another Choking incident like Spreewell on Carlissimo

8:50 AM

Blogger dt said...

I know that bill. I was just referring to my ongoing battle yesterday with real_right_way and his disdain for Chauncey.

9:07 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

the great thing about this blog we all get to go back and forth without Mike and Terry finger on a button hahahah

9:15 AM

Blogger T Foster said...

actually I am working on a button that immediately deletes anything I don't like. Stay tuned.

9:19 AM

Anonymous Nathan said...

Terry -

My next question would be this: what point guards in the league today would you trade Chauncey Billups for, if money/cap/etc. were no object?

I wouldn't trade him.

10:07 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

You did have some writer throw the f word a while back. Nate I agree would not with one caviot. If Chauncey reverts to being his old self because the new coach does not stress point then that could cause problems

10:58 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

Okay Terry so no confirmation I will just ride the stupid play factor. I don;t recall any of us bloggers or callers calling Rashid stupid or any of the pistons for that matter. So why is one of your colleagues claiming that.

11:04 AM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


I will agree with you on one point, "coaches have taken more control."

This is why mediocre "point guards are effective in some systems. i.e. Billups. don't get me wrong, Chaucey is good. But he is not a great point guard.

I guess this is the difference between Steve Young/Magic Johnson and Brad Johnson/Chauncey Billups. You have the great ones and the serviceable ones.

The new wave of coaches that have talented players understand how to maximize talent. They will turn the game back over to the players. i.e. D'Antoni.

Those that have mediocre talent will continue to control the game. i.e. Brown

12:52 PM

Anonymous Nathan said...

Yeah, the Pistons definately only have mediocre talent...

I'm excited to see the opportunity for the Pistons to add Julius Hodge behind Rip in this next draft. Check out Marty Burns' mock draft if you're interested in the other picks.

1:18 PM

Blogger dt said...

rrw -

Man, oh man, every time you approach some semblance of sanity, you go off on the absurd again.

First, I've never said that Chauncey Billups is a great point guard. What I've said is that with very very few exceptions, 'great' point guards don't win NBA championships. What I've further said is that CB is one of the top five point guards in today's NBA.

Now to the absurd.

In your world, 'talent' seems to be synonymous with points. If you think that Phoenix has a talent advantage over Detroit, then our dialog may as well be over. Phoenix may be younger and more athletic than Detroit at some spots, but they are not better basketball players. Last time I checked, rebounding and defense were still at least 50% of the game.

San Antonio - the team most like Detroit in talent and approach - scored about 110 per game against your Suns in the WC Finals last month and Detroit would have done the same thing.

Larry Brown coaches his 'mediocre' team in a way that maximizes his team's chance to win a championship. There can be no other way.

Your boy Mike D'Antonio coaches his 'more talented' team to score points. By emphasizing fast break offense, he gives up significant points on the defensive end through lack of rebounding and defense. And until he teaches his 'talent' how to play the 'mediocre' way, he won't win a Championship.

And isn't that all that matters??!

1:46 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

I would trade Chauncey straight up for the following guards:

D. Wade
M. Bibby
S. Francis
A. Iverson
J. Kidd
S. Marbury

Knowing the Pistons need scoring all these players average more than Billups. But more importantly they also produced more assists than he did.

The only problem is that there is no way the teams would want Billups for these grade "A" guards.

2:54 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


Billups top 5 where does he fit and who is up there with him?

2:57 PM

Anonymous Nathan said...

If you trade Billups for any of those guards, you will have a significant drop off in defensive ability, strength and toughness, and most importantly, championship experience.

None of those players have proven themselves in crunch time the way Chauncey has. I know Bibby has been the hero, and Kidd and Iverson were in the finals, but only Billups has a finals MVP, and only Billups has a championship.

The only two players on your list I can consider as having the potential to be as clutch as Billups are Iverson and Wade. Iverson will definately reach that level if given the opportunity to make it to the finals again. Wade I give the nod to only because he's got 15 years ahead of him.

3:46 PM

Blogger billionaire said...

I would take Wade and Iverson and maybe Bibby over Chauncey. MArbury and Francis are far more worse at the point than Chauncy. Jason kidd is a great point gaurd however his offensive skills yikes and on this team you need some one who can score

4:56 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


Chauncey vs Kidd season average 2004-2005

Chauncey average 16.45 points and 5.8 assist.

Kidd averaged 14.41 points and 8.2 assist.

Not that far off Billups. Keep in mind this includes a number of games when Kidd was recovering.

5:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Billups is fine. Not only has he made impressive strides while learning when to unleash his scorer's mentality, but he is a BARGAIN. Compare his $5-6 million salary to the other top PGs in the league, and you realize why he is almost impossible to replace.

Hamilton, I feel, is a different matter. At his salary he could be replaced. Rip does a lot of great things, but his real problem is between the ears. Too hot-headed at times, prone to bad passing decisions and tunnel vision when he gets frustrated. His failure to give the ball to Prince at the end of Game 5 was a classic example.

6:47 PM

Anonymous AC said...


There is a reason you arent the GM. Steve Francis, Stephon Marbury would not fit in with this team. Neither play defense all that well and both are ME first players. And Bibby is questionable because he doesnt play defense. The PGs in this league that I would have on this Pistons team rather than Chauncey would be D Wade, if you really want to call him a PG, J Kidd, AI (again if you really think he is a PG... those are the only three i feel are clearly better than billups and would still fit in with this team...

7:58 PM

Blogger T Foster said...

You have to be careful about trading Billups. He is the perfect for this team although he might not be the best point guard in the game but I would be afraid to make a trade and risk chemistry.

10:06 PM

Blogger T Foster said...

people read what they read. they dont interpret right. I am not responsible

10:12 PM

Blogger dt said...


Well, we can now lay this argument to rest because you have shown your true colors - you're all about stats with a very narrow appreciation of the game.

In response to your recitation of Jason Kidd's statistics, I'll quote you directly: Look at the film my friend. Jason Kidd is a shell of his former self, clearly on the Gary Payton side of his career. If you think his 8 assists a game make him a better player than Billups right now, well.....

Steve Francis ???!

Stephon Marbury ???!

Only two of the biggest teases in NBA history. Both have an abundance of talent yet neither has shown any of the intangibles that a point guard must possess in this league to win. One would think that such a point guard aficionado as yourself would understand this.

Mike Bibby is a tease of another order - a very solid point guard who appears to have what it takes yet curiously never took Sacramento over the top.

Dwyane Wade is not the point guard for Miami, Damon Jones is.

Ditto for Allen Iverson - whose inclusion on your list surprises me as I thought you disdain all shoot-first point guards.

The only guy on your list who plays Deeetroit Basketball is Baron Davis, but his shooting limitations make him inferior to Chauncey.

Billups is all about winning and since you classify Detroit's talent as "mediocre" he must be having one hell of an impact to have this "mediocre" team playing a Game 7 for a second consecutive Championship.

Game, set, match!

;o) (All in good spirits!)

8:49 AM


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