Friday, February 10, 2012
Foye's role figures to expand
By Zach Berman
PHILADELPHIA -- With Chauncey Billups out for the season because of a torn Achilles tendon, Randy Foye started his second consecutive game at shooting guard in Billups’ absence against the 76ers on Friday night.
Foye scored 15 points in Billups’ place during Wednesday’s 99-92 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“We got to play a lot better, and Randy’s going to be a big part of that,” coach Vinny Del Negro said. “His role is going to expand because of our injury situation, and we have confidence in Randy. It’s not just Randy. It’s everyone.”
Billups’ injury cripples the Clippers, but Foye is at least an experienced reserve. The No. 7 pick in the 2006 draft from Villanova has started 173 games in his six-year career. He’s averaging 7.7 points and 2.1 assists this season -- both career lows. His best season came with the Timberwolves in 2008-09, when he averaged 16.3 points and 4.4 assists.
“Randy’s been a starter in the league,” Del Negro said. “He did a nice job for us last year when Eric [Gordon] was out last year. We won some games. I expect a lot from Randy.”
To that point, Foye’s best stretch with the Clippers in 2010 came during a two-month stretch from the end of January to the middle of March when Gordon was sidelined. The Clippers won only seven of the 24 games Foye started, even though Foye scored in double-figures in 18 of those starts.
After shootaround Friday morning, Foye said his role hasn’t changed -- he’s just playing more minutes. But from his perspective, the same duties he had as a reserve are just more magnified now that he’s among the starting five for one of the top teams in the Western Conference.
“Be aggressive, shoot the ball when I’m open and make plays,” Foye said. “But the biggest thing is to play ‘D’ and help most the time on the other team’s best player.”