Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
It’s been said that money changes people.
Usually for the worst.
For J.J. Redick, after signing a three-year offer sheet worth a little more than $20 million, there were those that wondered if he would regress to the mean after a career year during the 2009-2010 season.
A slow start to the year for Redick only furthered fuel that sentiment.
But for the past month or so, Redick has found the shooting stroke that has made him one of the most efficient players in the NBA offensively. And looking back at the numbers, the game that catapulted Redick’s re-emergence on offense occurred when the Orlando Magic played the Miami Heat on November 24. Because Vince Carter was recovering from an injury, Redick was penned as the starter by head coach Stan Van Gundy and he did not disappoint. It wasn’t the best shooting performance by Redick, as he shot only 5-of-12 from the field. Nevertheless, it was an efficient outing for Redick because he was able to blend good three-point shooting with excellent free-throw shooting to score 20 points. Didn’t hurt that Redick was able to make some big shots in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for the Magic in their matchup against the Heat nearly two months ago.
From that game forward, Redick has been playing stellar basketball — including scoring a career-high 29 points on 12 shots against the Denver Nuggets.
The question, now, is whether or not — with the recent additions of Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, and Hedo Turkoglu — Redick will continue to see a lot of playing time with a glutton of players at the wing positions for Orlando.
If the last few games are any indication, Redick’s role remains untouched by Van Gundy. Redick will continue to be the back-up shooting guard for the Magic and there will be times (like against the Boston Celtics on Saturday) when he’ll play alongside Richardson, as he did with Carter prior to the trades. And Van Gundy isn’t afraid to play Redick down the stretch, in place of Richardson, if the situation merits it. Considering that Redick, once again, is Orlando’s most efficient perimeter player on offense, minutes won’t be hard to come by for him.
|2009-2010 regular season||82||22.0||.606||.540||18.3||123|
|2010-2011 regular season||25||24.5||.610||.558||16.4||122|
How is Redick so efficient?
A few things.
Redick rarely turns the basketball over. Part of it is because Redick, for the most part, finds himself in catch-and-shoot situations. But also, Redick does a great job of taking care of the ball when he’s scoring off the dribble or in pick and rolls. For Redick, he doesn’t try to do too much offensively. Because turnovers are rare occurrences for Redick, he doesn’t waste possessions.
The main reason why Redick is efficient, however, is because of his shooting prowess. Some may look at Redick’s field goal percentage (45.3 percent) and come away unimpressed, but they’re looking at the wrong statistic. When looking at True Shooting percentage, Redick ranks among the league leaders because of his proficiency to shoot threes and free throws at a high percentage.
It helps that Redick’s usage rate is low, too. That lessens the chances for Redick to put up more shots, which could potentially lower his efficiency.
All in all, there’s a long way to go but Redick has been living up to his new contract so far.