Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  By DANA WAKIJI  |  Last updated 10/30/13
Auburn Hills, Mich. -- If you closed your eyes, you might have thought it was 2004 again. Because when you opened them, there was Chauncey Billups calmly making a three-point shot to cool off the opposing team's rally. The three with 6:09 left in the game pushed the Pistons' lead back to 10 and returned things to a calmer place down the stretch. "I've seen him do that many times against me," Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said. "Kind of surprised the guy guarding him and I think that was the thing that settled us down. Chauncey said in the huddle they were gonna make a run, which they did. "He said let's stay composed and he made the shot, the composure shot, which I thought really kind of settled us down and got us in the place where we needed to be." Wizards coach Randy Wittman has also seen Billups do that before. He just didn't want to see it again. "Everyone in this league knows that you can't let Chauncey Billups shoot three-pointers," Wittman said. "You have to make him put the ball on the floor and beat you that way. So what did we do? We stood there and watched him shoot open threes." Instead of 2004, it was Opening Night 2013 against the Washington Wizards and instead of Ben Wallace, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace, Billups was starting with Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, Josh Smith and Will Bynum. Billups got the biggest ovation from the crowd of 19,258 at the Palace when he was introduced. "Man, it feels like home. It felt like old times," Billups said. "It felt good. The energy in this building sounded familiar. I hadn't seen that in a while around here, man. It felt really good. We fed off of that." At 37, Billups might not be the same player he was in 2004, but he showed he can still contribute and maybe teach some of his young teammates a thing or two. "Obviously he's great in that situation," Monroe said. "He knows what we need to get and how we need to get it so whenever you have somebody that good on your team, that knowledgeable about the game, makes the game a whole lot easier." The fans were so happy to see Billups back in the red, white and blue that they started chanting "MVP! MVP!" when he was at the free-throw line late in the game. "It felt good but that was a little crazy," Billups chuckled. Drummond gave up the No. 1 and took 0 so Billups could have his old number once again. With his 16 points, five assists, three rebounds and one steal, he seemed determined to earn it back. "I don't think he had to earn it tonight," said Monroe, who had 24 points and 16 rebounds. "I think he earned it a long time ago. "He doesn't have the nickname Mr. Big Shot for just anything. He hit some big shots. He hit a couple when they were on runs so he definitely lived up to his name today."
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