Is Chauncey Billups the Biggest Threat to a Los Angeles Lakers Repeat Bid?

The Denver Nuggets have established themselves as a legitimate threat to contend for a NBA championship this season, but as a columnist for the Los Angeles, I am a lot more wary of Chauncey Billups than the Nuggets themselves.

Billups plays the point guard position, which has been a bane for the Lakers, and in my opinion, he plays it better than anyone else in the league, including names like Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Rajon Rondo.

I'm sure there are those who will disagree, but my contentions in my belief go beneath the shallowness of the numbers and rest instead with the tangible impact Billups has had on his team.

Before Billups arrived, the Nuggets were an exciting, high-scoring team which was capable of winning 50 games but lacked the discipline, the defense, and the will to be taken seriously as a threat.

In Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson, the Nuggets had the superstar players that gave the impression of an elite team, but none of the substance to go with it, and it was proved when the Nuggets were spirited from the postseason by the Lakers.

Los Angeles swept the Nuggets in four games in 2008, and by then it was already clear that the pairing of Iverson and Anthony was a failure, so the arrival of Billups was like a breath of fresh air.

Billups is a Colorado native, he attended college in Colorado and also spent some of his early playing time for the Nuggets. It would be an understatement to say the version of Billups which came back was a much better player than the one before.

Billups grew up as a player with the Detroit Pistons, won a NBA championship and a Finals MVP and brought all of that confidence, and experience home to the Rocky Mountains.

He has superb numbers, averaging 20.3 points per game and 6.1 rebounds, but it is his influence on players like Anthony, Kenyon Martin, NeNe, and J.R. Smith that has turned the franchise around.


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