The sans-Billups era begins for Clippers

February, 9, 2012
On Wednesday night, we got our first look at the Los Angeles Clippers since they lost starting shooting guard Chauncey Billups for the rest of the season. It wasn't pretty for the Clips; they lost to the Cavaliers in Cleveland despite double-doubles from Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and 21 points out of Caron Butler.

Randy Foye looks as if he'll be the starting point guard for the foreseeable future. His scoring was up to par (15 points, including three 3-pointers, shooting 5-for-11 from the floor), but he really didn't do much else -- and on most nights he's not going to go 3-for-6 from the 3-point line, which he did against the Cavs. If Foye is playing more than 25 minutes per game, he's probably going to be worth owning in most fantasy leagues as a decent source of 3s and steals, and he might even provide some assists on occasion. Like Billups, he's a very good free throw shooter, but unlike Billups, Foye almost never gets to the line. Don't expect him to match Billups' production across the board, but if you need guard help, you could do worse than Foye for the time being.

Looking Back

Kenyon Martin made his Clippers debut and didn't do much scoring or rebounding, but he did manage two blocks and a steal in 20 minutes. It's safe to assume the Clippers didn't bring Martin in to play 20 minutes per game, so I'm expecting that number to rise in the coming weeks, and he should be his usual self: decent scoring, good rebounding, more than a block and a steal per game … and absolutely terrible shooting from the free throw line. He's definitely someone you might want to pick up in fantasy leagues if you need help in the defense stats and can afford to have a guy who shoots around 60 percent from the line on your roster.

• This just in: Jeremy Lin is really good at basketball! He has been picked up already in just about every fantasy league, and rightly so, but he had another solid game Wednesday night, racking up 23 points (this time shooting 9-for-14) and 10 assists in the Knicks' big win over the lowly Wizards. The big question now becomes: How will things change when Baron Davis finally plays for the Knicks? For right now, though, just enjoy the ride while it lasts.

Jordan Farmar had 22 points for the Nets in their loss to the Pistons and is now averaging 16.2 points, 4.0 assists, 2.0 3-pointers and 50.8 percent shooting from the floor in his past five games. He's still available in most leagues, so you might want to pick him up while he remains out there.

• I'm not sure what's going on with him, but after a great start to the season for the Rockets, Samuel Dalembert has been terrible lately, averaging just 3.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in just more than 17 minutes per game over his past five games. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, the Rockets are filling in for him with a number of different guys  primarily Jordan Hill and Patrick Patterson -- and none of them is worth picking up in fantasy leagues quite yet.

Looking Ahead

• The Lakers travel to Boston to face the Celtics on Thursday night in a matchup between teams in the top four in (fewest) points allowed per game. They are tied for first in defensive field goal percentage and are each in the top 10 in defensive 3-point percentage as well. That's bad for fantasy owners, but really the only marginal contributor on either team is Brandon Bass, and guarding quick power forwards might be the Lakers' biggest defensive weakness. Just don't expect big numbers out of any particular player.

• With Danilo Gallinari out indefinitely for the Nuggets, it should be a good night to play Rudy Fernandez against the Warriors. Fernandez is averaging 15.5 points in his past two games and is usually a good source of steals and 3s when he gets playing time. By the same token, Andre Miller has been getting a lot of run for the Nuggets, and while his numbers won't exactly blow your mind, he's a decent source of assists and is shooting 58.6 percent over his past five games.



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