by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Chauncey Billups knows that his NBA days are numbered. After missing out on much of the New York Knicks’ first-round sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics last spring, Chauncey is filled with regret, and plenty questions about what the future holds.

Though Billups believes he could have made a big difference during the Knicks/Celtics series, there’s no use in looking back now, and Chauncey wants another crack at leading New York on the basketball floor.

The lockout is making none of that possible, of course, and shortening what little time Chauncey Billups has left in the NBA.

From the Boston Globe:

The lack of a full training camp may damage the Knicks more than any other club because they never had the opportunity to build chemistry with coach Mike D’Antoni last season. “It is tough, the uncertainty of not knowing what’s going to happen,’’ said Billups. “But I’ve been through it before, and as a veteran and as a professional, I’m just going to stay ready. “Whenever we can make a deal or whatever might happen, I’ll be ready to go.”

He has avoided serious injury in his career and has played at least 70 games in each of the past 11 seasons, but six weeks short of his 35th birthday, Billups realizes his time as a front-line player is diminishing. “I have played most of my career out,’’ he said. “I don’t have that many more years to play. I’m just looking forward to getting back out there.”

The Knicks are unlikely to compete for the Eastern Conference crown regardless of when the season starts, but they should be vastly different with Billups and Anthony more comfortable in the system, and Amar’e Stoudemire completely recovered from the back issues that ailed him during the playoffs. “That’s what I want so bad, is to have a training camp together, where we can build,’’ said Billups, who averaged 17.5 points, 5.5 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in 21 games with New York. “Because I feel like with the players that we have and the ability that we have to put some pieces together, we can be a very good basketball team.’’

As he enters the twilight of his career, the Knicks can only hope to squeeze out what little magic may be left in Chauncey Billups.

Time is not on either party’s side.