NBA / Dec 19, 2008 / 4:48 pm

Who’s Better: Deron Williams or Chauncey Billups?

We argue. You decide…

DERON WILLIAMS (by Andrew Katz)
It’s impressive to see what Chauncey Billups has done in Denver this season, bolstering his career rap sheet by rejuvenating a downtrodden team. But honestly, I don’t know how he does it. Chauncey’s greatest asset is his consistency. Could it be that the Nuggets are so much better because they have someone to play point in the same way, every day, thereby allowing everyone else to get in a groove?

That’s my theory. Even if Carmelo, Nene and K-Mart‘s numbers have improved with Billups in the lineup, it’s not like Chauncey is doing anything so outstanding that these guys are now being left wide open. It’s simply that he’s executing their offense and making smart decisions.

Deron WilliamsDeron Williams (photo. Christian Kozowyck)

That’s exactly why I’d take Deron Williams over Billups. Not only does he execute an offense immaculately well, but he also has another element of flash that is largely absent from Big Shot. Think about it: Deron isn’t bad at anything. In fact, I’d say that he’s the most complete point guard in the League today. Though some other elite PG’s might be better in one specific category, nobody does as many things as well as Deron. Chris Paul doesn’t shoot from deep as well (career 33.8% 3FG vs. Deron’s 37%). Tony Parker isn’t close to as good a passer. Steve Nash can’t finish around the cup or play D as well as Deron. And when it comes to Chauncey, he simply isn’t the playmaker that Deron is.

Jerry Colangelo knows that. And so does Chauncey. That’s why he pulled himself out of contention for the third PG spot in the Olympics this summer, citing a personal family issue. Not to belittle any issue that could have been there, but Billups was expected to take his name out of the drawing to avoid any embarrassment that could have ensued when Deron was inevitably picked ahead of him.

And that turned out to be a good move for Team USA, as Williams proved capable of playing the one and creating for his superstar teammates, or shifting to the two and knocking down corner treys. It wasn’t just a youth movement thing — it was that Deron’s ability to get into the nooks and crannies of an international defense made him a better choice. There, he could shoot his reliable 15-footer, zip a pass inside, or even go all the way to the cup and finish with authority.

In the League, that’s even more evident. As a real triple threat to shoot, drive or pass on every touch, defenses split open for D-Will. And that’s when you want a guy who has some flash to his game.

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS (by Aron Phillips)
While this argument will be interesting to look at later on in Deron Williams’ career, right now there is no point guard more valuable than Chauncey Billups.

Chauncey BillupsChauncey Billups (photo. adidas)

What appeared to be an equitable swap when Billups was traded to the Nuggets for Allen Iverson early this season has turned into one of the most lopsided deals in years. While the Pistons have struggled with A.I., Denver (first place in the Northwest) is off to their best start in franchise history with a record of 17-8 going into Friday’s schedule. And there is no one to attribute that success to other than Billups.

Billups has been the true point guard that the Nuggets have been in need of for years. Averaging 18.2 points and 7.0 assists per game since coming home to Denver, Billups has brought out the best in all his teammates. If you don’t believe me, check out Carmelo Anthony’s 33-point third quarter, the emergence of Nene as one of the top centers in the League, and the return to relevance of Kenyon Martin.

Billups has also been able to step his own game up, shooting 42.6 percent beyond the arc while hitting more than two three-pointers per game. Sure, Deron Williams has been hurt for most of the season, but in the 14 games he has played, he’s averaging only 12.9 points, shooting a career-worst 41.9 percent from the floor, a career-worst 30.0 percent from deep, and committing a career-worst 3.6 turnovers per game.

The biggest thing Billups brings to Denver is a knack for winning, having helped the Pistons win a title in 2004 (where he was the NBA Finals MVP) and to the conference finals six years in a row. There’s also a reason he’s earned the nickname “Mr. Big Shot.” When the game is on the line, there aren’t too many guys I’d trust with the ball, but Billups is one of them.

Who do you think is better?

“Who’s better?” archives
12/17 — Manu Ginobili vs. Tracy McGrady
12/12 — Amare Stoudemire vs. Al Jefferson
12/10 — Dirk Nowitzki vs. Chris Bosh
12/9 — Derrick Rose vs. O.J. Mayo
12/8 — Rasheed Wallace vs. Elton Brand
12/5 — Kevin Martin vs. Vince Carter
12/4 — Brandon Roy vs. Joe Johnson
12/3 — Dwight Howard vs. Yao Ming
12/2 — Paul Pierce vs. Carmelo Anthony

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    years ago, billups, pre-injury this season, deron. nuggets vs. jazz in the nw will decide who is better.

  • Kevin K

    Is this a joke? Chauncey is the most overrated player in the league. He had guys like Rip, Prince, Rasheed, and Ben with the Pistons. He has guys like Melo, Martin, Nene, and Smith with Denver. He always played with guys with talent. Denver’s true MVP should be Nene. He’s been a beast. Also it’s still to early about the AI trade being lopsided. Pistons have struggled adjusting with AI but they were also the 1st team to beat the Lakers and they beat the Cavs as well. You see glimpses of what the Pistons can be while Denver is already at their peak and will be another 1st round exit.

    D-Will by a landslide.

  • Haqq

    You can see what Billups is doing for the Nuggets. Great vision… great teamwork!

    +1 Billups.

  • D.H.

    Yea right now if I’m making a push for a chip I want Billups. He’s been there before, and is a calm and reliable presence on the floor. The PG is supposed to be the leader, Chauncey is a ‘general’ when it comes to leading a team.

    This is no knock on Deron, I have all the faith in him going forward, but if I’m going for it all this year i’ll take Mr. Big Shot.

  • A$$Cube

    as good and impressive a point chauncey has been for his hometown, deron is just flat out better –when healthy, which has been for nearly his whole career but this season.

    i liike bith of those big point guards. They both had collective success but have been a little bit overlooked at times on a more individual level. I dont think Deron is going to earn his first all star nod this year because of his poor performance thus far –he’s still not healthy i know. But i’m quite sure Chauncey is on his way to another all star berth next to CP3 and maybe tony though.

    But when he comes back to his full strenght, deron is going to be the cheese to chris paul’s crackers –once again.

  • Sanpitch

    This year hasn’t been kind to Williams and he definitely isn’t playing great ball right now, but Deron is my pick.

    D-Will all the way.

    If you are just basing it off this year I can agree with some people’s argument for Billups, but I will take Deron Williams every time.

  • laundrymat




    I just can’t wait for all the hate to show up!
    one thing’s for sure, Lebron is sooo

  • that’s whats up

    Billups. No doubt.

    Until D-Will shows me some playoff success I’ll take Billups.

  • Tbone

    I’m glad Aron understands what’s going on here.

    I couldn’t agree any more that this should be revisited down the road, but as of right now, there IS NO COMPARISON. Andy, you might remember this guy named Andre Miller who was not and still is not a shabby PG by ANY MEANS. He ran the offense with a steady hand, the same way pretty much every night. No comparison to the way that Billups has contributed with his 3 pointers and his steady hand at the wheel mixed with the perfect amount of attacking the rim himself.

    If you put Deron in as the Nuggets PG, I would bet my house the nuggets would not be any better than 14-11


  • Tbone

    And hey Kevin, I have the feeling you’ll be nowhere to be seen or heard from come the second round this year. Care to exchange email addresses? If you’re so sure about what you’re saying, it should be an issue.

  • Tbone


  • northern lights

    funny, last year this argument was between Chris Paul and D-Will… now its billups.
    I guess theres a hands down consensus that Paul is the best PG in the game right now.

    Chauncey Billups is the better player. D-Will is slightly better offensively, and might be a better playmaker. Both are strong and pretty good defenders, but billups is the more experienced leader and hes gotta chip. The improvement of the nuggets since the trade for Billups is an indication of the type of player he is, the presence he has in the locker room, and the skill he brings on the court.

  • ZACH

    whatever the outcome of this debate, everybody was hating on Chauncey 2 months ago as washed up now he is the savior. WHERE DID ALL THE HATERS GO? A lot of people on here like to flip flop worse than a politician

  • Three Stacks

    @ that’s whats up

    Deron has been in the league for 4 years, been in the playoffs the last 3, and has been the best player on a team that’s made the conference finals. Yeah, it’s not a Finals MVP, but that’s not a bad postseason resume, especially in the Western conference.

  • matt

    Right now, Billups is playing on a team that hasn’t been plagued by injury, with all of its main players playing at the level that they are expected to. D-Will on the other hand started the season on the injury list and has only played TWO games with the jazz’s other star in boozer. The jazz are three games behind the nuggets and have been playing injured for pretty much this entire season.

    If we are looking at just THIS season, I still say that Williams is the better guard, he has done almost the same with less, and that is the mark of the better point guard.

  • http://allintheeyes.com the rocket cat


  • K Dizzle

    Thanks, Kev K, for your thoughtful, insight filled analysis. “Is this a joke?” um, no. “Chauncey is the most overrated player in the l?”…..if you say so. Why does the who’s better right now bring out the biggest clowns?
    I didn’t even touch Manu vs. T-Mac cuz I knew where that was goin. Dudes compare teams instead of players and medals and accomplishments instead of pure ball player skills.

    Anyways, like Andy Katz said :”It’s simply that he’s executing their offense and making smart decisions”

    This statement solves it all for me. Let’s compare the players
    Both can shoot, both can pass, both play defense, both can run or play in the halfcourt, both attack the hole ,tho not Chauncey so much anymore. Both are great leaders. I’d take either one, but Chauncey’s team rollin right now after AI was killin them and DWill comin back from the injury gives the advantage to Big Shot right now. He made an middle of the pack squad in the west scary. Sometimes, it’s only chemistry.
    Not an olympic gold, not an nba finals mvp, just a point guard for my team right now.

  • Chaos

    its a hardchoice because they both bring two completely different aspects but i would go with chauncy because he has the x-factor and that leadership. he has been able to lead a detroit that i clearly wouldnt have been as good with out him and he is bringing together a denver team that had potential but couldnt win. potential can olny take you so far but team work and leadership can make you dangerous which he has made them

    D-Will (get him another nickname) has been the heart of the jazz for his career and will continue to be it. he is an all star(even tho he hasnt been in the game). he is the future of the pg game along with cp3 and d-rose and will prolly win a chip at some point (albeit not under sloan).

  • ratattack

    Williams is better, but Billups has a better chance at titles because he controls a game without dominating the ball. Points guards like Williams, Nash, Paul who dominate the ball rarely ever win championships.

  • Big Sneezy

    @ Kevin K.:
    I like D-Will, but until he takes his team to six straight conference finals, two finals appearances, and one ring, shut the hell up.

  • http://www.geocities.com/dagomardeg Dagomar

    I doubt this would have been an argument last year, when Deron was largely considered at worst the second-best PG in the league. But following his injury Deron’s struggling with his shot and Billups has completely reversed the course of the Nuggets.

    Still, based on his brilliance last year and on the assumption he’ll shake off the rust: Williams.

  • D.H.


    we’re on the same page. I think this is such a loaded question though. I originaly voted for Chauncey, and I’m sticking to my choice. I think Chauncey is definately the better PG, because in my mind the PG position is more than just skills, its controlling multiple aspects of the game. Perhaps Deron is ‘the better player’ of this I’m not quite sure . . . but as I said before, if i’m going after chip this year I want Mr. Big Shot running my point.

  • George W Kush Sr

    Comparison doesnt make cents. DWill is young and up n coming. Billups is toward the end, but showing he’s still got mad game.

    I cant compare a 4 year Pro to Billups career just yet. As impressive as DWill’s 4 years have been, he does not have a Finals MVP trophy or the ring that goes with it.

    This is like comparing a young DWill to a Future DWill of ten years from now, there really isnt a comparison.

    If I’m a GM building a team? DWill
    If we’re headed into the playoffs and I need a General, like RIGHT NOW,? Its Billups

  • Ian

    ratattack so if billups gives u the best chance to win hes the best not deron.

    deron parker and paul are the three best pgs in the regular season but if im taking someone to lead my team in the playoffs that is not french im taking billups easy. what is with this bullshit that people always come up with that billups has had great teammates (never a knock on jordan of any other fan fav). deron has a really good team also so stfu with that.

    big sneezy
    fuck yeah

    dagomar not everyone considered him the second best pg why he got to the conf finals once ??? big deal

  • Ian

    k dizzle
    “Dudes compare teams instead of players and medals and accomplishments instead of pure ball player skills.”

    perfect bro perfect

    btw u picked manu right (help me out lol)

  • http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/even/rank/rankMen.asp rodnets

    First it was D-Will vs CP3 (CP3 by miles)
    Now it is D-Will vs C-money (C-Money by miles)

    Next? D-Will vs Jose Calderon
    D-Will vs Jordan Farmar
    D-Will vs Adriana Lima’s BF

    just jocking, but this time I pick C-Biiillups

  • http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/even/rank/rankMen.asp rodnets

    joking, sorry for my poor english

  • George W Kush Sr

    good thing you caught it because you dont want to admit to jocking somebody

  • Ian


  • doug

    D.Will easy

  • Ian

    where have u been?

  • http://www.hornetshype.com mW

    Finals MVP. Speaks volumes. Chauncey is right now way better. As a GM, I’d rather have Williams, sure, he’s way younger. But for one year, right now? Billups. If the Jazz homers had any reason left in their brains it would be obvious. Oh, and the year they got to the Conference Finals? Boozer was the best player on that team. Hands down.

  • KB24

    Talent wise..D will. He’ll shake and bake Billups up.

    Only thing billups got is a Ring. Which means a lot. but as far as talent. D will.

  • aj


    Chauncey’s one ring came against a dysfunctional Lakers team. While a chip is a chip and a Finals MVP is worth something, he ain’t done a whole lot since that one year. 4 conf finals (or however many they went to) in the East ain’t a whole lot. **Pistons hater here, only player I like on that team is Prince**

    ratattacks point about PG’s is mostly spot-on though. While D-Will does have the ball a lot, he has it a lot less than Paul or Nash, which is why I give the Jazz good odds to win it all this year assuming Booz comes back strong and AK-47 keeps it up.

  • that’s whats up

    three stacks

    I’ll give you that – it is fact.

    but, for my money, I’d rather have the ball in Billups hands late in a tie game, especially if the last shot ends up being from long range.

    Bottom line: I’d trust Billups, I don’t know if I’d trust D-Will

    but that’s just me and that’s why DIME has a lot of responses to these posts

    different opinions

  • Johnny Knox

    Talent wise they are pretty even, D-Will maybe a little better, however I will take Billups due to intangibles…he brought order to the Nuggets


    d-will in the end will have a better all around career

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    I live in detroit, i can’t remember the last time billups actually hit a big shot when it counted. he’s running on his rep right now . . . where as, deron is building his.

  • dapro

    I like Billups, he’s consistent and cleary makes a team better but I’m going D-will

    I agree with Katz, Deron is the most complete pg in the league he’s J-kidd with a deadly jumper

    Billups is clutch but so is Deron

    You can plug a healthy Deron on any team and you’ll see an immediate improvement

  • Kevin K

    All you guys talking about Chauncey’s achievements such as his Finals MVP and the Pistons making it to the conference finals for 5-6 years… so he’s a better player than D-Will? You guys retarded? The debate is not about who has more playoff achievement but WHO IS THE BETTER PLAYER.

    Chauncey was a bust when he was drafted 3rd pick in 97. He was a nobody till he joined up with guys such as Rasheed and Rip who established themselves as stars way before. As I mentioned above, he didn’t blossom untill he had stars around him and as a PG, what more can you ask?

    Also, he played in the Eastern Conference where the league sucked ass big time. His team was stacked against scrub teams such as NJN, Philly, and discombobulated Pacers. And all he has to show for it is 1 title against the dysfunctional Lakers and had his worst game against the Spurs in game 7 where they lost.

    In his 2nd year, he was already better than Chauncey. You put D-Will with the same Pistons when the East was weak, the Pistons would have at least made the NBA Finals more than two times. Check his playoff resume against teams such as the Lakers, Houston, and Spurs. His numbers are astounding, and if you watched those games, he carried the team.

    Unlike Chauncey, when he played with a stack team in a washed up conference against pitiful competetion; D-Will now has to play against teams such as the Lakers, Hornets, Portland, Houston, aging but still better than the teams Chauncey played against Spurs, Suns, and Dallas.

    Chauncey is a solid PG, who executes the system well and is an able scorer. But that’s it.

    Also D-will owns CP3 the best PG in the game in h2h match but CP3 runs circle around CB.
    D-Will by landslide.

  • Kevin K

    Also, at the current standings, the Nuggets will play the Blazers and do you honestly think the Nuggets will win in a 7 game series? Healthy Utah, Spurs, Suns or Dallas? I don’t think so. Another 1st round exit for the Nuggets.

    If Pistons ever find their stride, they will be wild card of the East. They have shown flashes of what they can do against teams such as the Lakers, the Cavs, and 1st half against Celtics :)

  • Me

    You’ve gotta do Tayshaun Prince vs. Ron Artest. They both remind me of each other.

  • Ian

    kevin k
    are u retarded
    billups blossomed with allstars so deron doesnt have allstars around him?

  • Kevin K

    No I am not retarded but you must be if you can’t differentiate the players that they are playing with or played with. Compare the guys Billups played with to Deron, the talent level doesn’t even come close.

    Pistons : Rip, Prince, Rasheed, Ben
    Denver : JR, Melo, K Mart, Nene

    Deron: Brewer, AK, Boozer, Okur

    You kidding me? can’t believe you made me type this out IAN. It’s obvious you don’t watch basketball.

  • Kevin K

    merry christmas btw :)

  • bradthetank

    Whoever said that Dwill wasnt the best player for the jazz in the conference finals obivisly didnt watch the games.. Willams out played Parker every game. Just wait till the jazz get health because they are going to win the northwest AGAIN. Just imagine if Kmart Nene and JR all get hurt and see how well Chauncy plays

  • fred a stair

    Deron williams is way better he proved it in their game against denver after the break

  • /.,';/.,';';/........................ go jazz


  • /.,';/.,';';/........................ go jazz

    D WILL is the best PG in the nba!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Who made the Olympics? D WILL Not Chauncy

  • Tom

    this is one of the better comparisons on the list. I really respect both players and they both have things on their resume the other doesnt. It is very close, but I give the ever so slightest edge to Billups. I just finished that sentence and already wonder if Williams isn’t the better player. How about I recant and call it a push right now.

  • brentsears

    D-Will is the best PG in the league!