The pick-and-roll has been one of the primary tenets of the Orlando Magic’s offensive system since head coach Stan Van Gundy’s first day on the job.
When you envision the Magic run their vaunted pick-and-roll attack this season (yes, it still can be vaunted even though this is the least-talented team in the Van Gundy era), you think of Jameer Nelson or Hedo Turkoglu running a middle pick-and-roll or side pick-and-roll with Dwight Howard as the screener. From there, either Nelson or Turkoglu look for their own shot, pass it to Dwight on the roll to the basket, or kick it out to one of Orlando’s many three-point shooters.
There’s other players for the Magic that can execute pick-and-rolls, like Chris Duhon and J.J. Redick, but you don’t typically see either player run them with the frequency that Nelson and Turkoglu do.
However, in the case of Redick, with Turkoglu suspended (made contact with an official when Orlando played the Chicago Bulls on Thursday) for Sunday’s game against the Indiana Pacers, he had to be relied upon much more by Van Gundy to run the Magic’s offense. In other words, run a lot of pick-and-roll sets. Needless to say, in light of Orlando’s 107-94 win versus the Pacers, Redick got the job done and proved once again that he’s an underrated playmaker.
In the first quarter, the Pacers fell into a deep hole and couldn’t recover because of their inability to defend the Redick-Dwight pick-and-roll properly.
On this possession, the Magic start off in their “horns” set with Dwight and Ryan at the elbows. Jameer Nelson dumps the ball in to Dwight. This is where the primary action of this particular play begins.
Dwight pivots and faces Redick. From there, Dwight hands the basketball off to Redick and they execute a pick-and-roll. Paul George goes over the screen but keep an eye on Roy Hibbert. He doesn’t account for Dwight on the roll and Redick sees that. As such, one bounce pass later and Dwight flies in unimpeded for a dunk.
With the first quarter winding down, Orlando kept at it with the Redick-Dwight pick-and-roll. This time around, the Magic didn’t use the “horns” set to initiate the action; they went straight to it.
Like George, Lance Stephenson went over Dwight’s screen. Unfortunately for Stephenson, he got caught up going over the screen and tried to recover as Redick went up for a midrange jumpshot near the left elbow. Too little, too late, as Stephenson hit Redick’s arm and got called for the foul. Redick made the jumper and converted the and-one opportunity shortly thereafter.
If you need a reason for why Orlando was able to handle Indiana with such ease, despite missing Jason Richardson (injury) and Turkoglu (suspension), look no further than Redick’s ability to navigate the Magic’s offense with precision and great efficiency.
With Nelson and Turkoglu struggling at times to run pick-and-rolls effectively with consistency, as strange as it may sound, Van Gundy has someone in Redick that can go out and make the right play if need be. Redick proved that against the Pacers with his 18 points and career-high nine assists.