LOS ANGELES Chauncey Billups is expected to show up Tuesday at the Clippers facility, a reminder of the team's carefree and confident days, when anything the Clippers hoped for seemed as much in reach as an alley-oop pass.
Now, after a dispiriting 94-85 loss to Boston, the gravity of Billups' absence, the weight of new expectations and the depth of their shortcomings has become increasingly clear.
It was Los Angeles' fourth loss in five games, and dropped them to 8-10 since Billups tore his Achilles tendon, precipitating a fall from second place to fifth in the Western Conference, a once-certain playoff berth now secured by a margin of just 2 games.
The look and sound like a team without answers.
Coach Vinny Del Negro's long-winded responses filled time and space, but provided little insight. Neither did the brief team meeting afterward. Chris Paul threw his hands up when he was asked how the Clippers could be fixed.
"Good question," he said.
Over in a quiet corner of the ...