Last season, forward Caron Butler suffered a season-ending injury with the Dallas Mavericks and his teammates went on to win the world championship.
This season, the same scenario potentially awaits Clippers guard Chauncey Billups who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle has mentioned how Butler remained an active member of the team despite the injury. On Monday, Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro spoke in the same manner of Billups.
“Chauncey just has that way about him,” Del Negro said. “He has great leadership. He's around the guys. He was in the facility this morning at shootaround. His therapy is obviously his No. 1 thing. He'll travel with us. Just having him around I think is great. He has tremendous respect from the guys. He just has a presence about him that I just think helps us because he's been through it, and the guys respect that.”
Thunder coach Scott Brooks on the benefit of playing against good teams this time of year: “It's so important to play against good teams late in the season. I've always felt that way. When you play against teams where their records aren't as good for whatever reason, those games are tough (to evaluate) because you don't know how much improvement is being made. When you're playing against Memphis, Miami, Chicago, the Clippers and the Lakers like we've done the next two or three weeks, you get better. Even on some losses you get better.”