Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pistons not sweating late-game struggles

May 31, 2007

Advertisement

— Chauncey Billups has earned the nickname Mr. Big Shot.

In each of his five seasons with the Detroit Pistons, the sturdy point guard made a number of clutch shots late in games to help them at least reach the Eastern Conference finals.

The 2004 NBA finals MVP has a knack for making three-pointers on the fastbreak or in halfcourt sets, dribbling and bumping his way into the lane for shots.

But Billups seemed to be at his worst when Detroit needed him most in Game 4 against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Billups missed all three of his shots in the fourth quarter and had only one assist to go with three turnovers in Cleveland's series-evening 91-87 victory Tuesday.

He finished with 23 points on 6-of-16 shooting with two assists, five turnovers and nine rebounds. Good numbers but nothing came late.

"I made a couple bad plays, but that's going to happen. I'm human," Billups said Wednesday. "I know I spoiled y'all, not ever missing at the end of the game, but it's going to happen. It's no big deal."

In the series, Billups is averaging 15.5 points, 4.0 assists and 5.5 turnovers. He scored about 20 points a game and contributed seven assists with just two turnovers a game in the first two rounds.

Billups shrugged off his recent struggles and those of his team, heading into Game 5 at home tonight.

"I don't see the situation as being that bad," he said. "It's 2-2, these are the Eastern Conference finals. We have three games left - two of them at our place."

Game 6 is Saturday night in Cleveland and if Game 7, if necessary, will be Monday night at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

"For us to win the series, we have to win a game here," Cleveland center Zydrunas Ilgauskas said when the team arrived at their hotel in suburban Detroit.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.