Chris Webber is hailed as one of the best passing big men in the game, and Chauncey Billups is widely regarded as one of the league's elite point guards. But is having two playmakers in the game disrupting the offense? Honestly, the thought never really crossed my mind until reading Chris McCosky's article today in the Detroit News:
"It changes things, man, it does," Billups said. "When Chris is out there, we go through him and let him make plays. When he's not, I'm attacking, I'm aggressive and I am making plays. I am struggling with that a lot -- when to do what."
"The only thing that's different is Chris," Billups said. "He's the only new guy and he's a big piece. He's a guy that can really make plays. On one hand, it takes a lot of pressure off me. I don't have to make every play. On the other hand, it puts me in too much of a passive mode and sometimes it's hard for me to turn it back on."
I trust Chauncey with the ball more than anyone, but I've actually enjoyed watching the offense go through Webber since it's inspired Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince to be more active cutting to the basket for easy layups.
In fact, it's Webber's playmaking ability that allowed Flip Murray to salvage his season with his recent stretch of fine play when Billups went down with his recent groin injury -- it took the ball out of Murray's hands, freed him from the responsibility of being the primary playmaker and allowed him to simply attack.
Webber and Billups are confident the issue will resolve itself with a few more games. Webber, in fact, seemed surprised it was even a concern.
"I don't understand that," he said. "In the second half (Sunday against Miami), Rip (Hamilton) was really cutting hard and moving and he got involved a lot when I had the ball. Both him and Tay (Prince)."
"But Chauncey is the man and he needs to be aggressive at all times," Webber said.
"There should never be a time when he's not. He's deadly from the outside and on the inside. It should never be a problem. He's the point guard. The ball should be in his hands when he wants it."
According to McCosky, Flip Saunders has actually encouraged Billups in recent weeks to be more aggressive when he's in the game. We definitely saw that on Friday when he scored 32 with 14 assists against the Nets, but he was a little less so on Sunday against the Heat when he finished with 17 and two assists.
Ideally, you don't really want to be worrying about things like this down the stretch -- this is the time that the team should be hitting on full cylinders heading into the postseason. I'm not too worried, though, especially considering everyone appears to be finally healthy, but it's definitely something I'm going to keep an eye on when they're both in the game.
Billups bothered by struggle to mesh with Webber [Detroit News]