2) On the flip side, Chauncey ain't getting any younger and lost some steam as the postseason continued (especially against the Lakers). He's obviously still good, but perhaps a decline is in the works. Do you see him still being able to provide what the Nuggets need at a high level, particularly with nobody ideal to siphon his minutes?
It always amuses me to talk about a guy being on the decline at 33 years-old from a "real world" perspective… Makes me worried to get that old! Yes, Billups did seem to tire as the Lakers series wore on and Denver needed him on the floor to remain competitive. A lot of the focus in Denver this offseason, especially on our blog, has been about Billups’ backup. Sometimes it seems that the fans have forgotten that Billups is even on the team with all the talk centering around Anthony Carter, 34, and Lawson.
There is no secret why the Nuggets traded up into the first round to select Lawson (18th overall). This team needed a young and energetic point guard to groom for the future and to hopefully play some now. A.C. recently told the Denver Post that Karl promised him his minutes (22.9 mpg last season) would not be cut by the arrival of Lawson, but if that is the case there may be a riot at the Pepsi Center at some point this season. Lawson has looked impressive in limited preseason duty thus far and the fans feel the only thing standing between him and the backup point guard position is Karl’s false sense of A.C. as his security blanket.
But back to Billups. He averaged 35.3 minutes per game with the Nuggets during the regular season and 38.8 mpg in the playoffs. It’d be ideal to see his workload lightened during the season because come playoff time, he’s going to have to shoulder the load at point guard once again. No doubt in my mind, Billups must be on the floor as he still gives Denver its most potent lineup.
Photo courtesy of: Denis Poroy of AP Photos.