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J.J. Redick plays a solid game, a fluid game, and a game that makes us think we are missing him when he is gone. Those around the league like to say he has a “high basketball IQ.” But does he? It seems that sometimes there are players who can give you positive output in almost every statistical category, but still fail to impact the game the way you want them to.
First we have to define basketball IQ. I hear it a lot when a player makes an unexpectedly good decision, or shows in some way that he schooled himself on his opponent. Generally it means preparedness, or the ability to adapt the rhythm of the game no matter what. Moreover, it means thinking ahead, and being one step ahead of your opponent.
At first glance I would say Redick definitely has a high basketball IQ. But how does this translate to statistics? I break it down into four categories: taking smart shots, making smart passes, playing strong defense, and protecting the ball. Superstar or not, if you can keep those four areas of your game on speed dial, you will do more good than harm for your team.
As for taking smart shots, Redick obviously does not struggle with the temptation to throw up circus shots, or go off shooting fadeaway’s from deep. His shot selection is sound, as evidenced by his .589 True Shooting percentage from this season. In fact, only two Magic players have a better True Shooting percentage than Redick—Dwight Howard and Ryan Anderson.
Need a current Eastern Conference Finals contender to compare that to? Kyle Korver currently has a True Shooting percentage of .572, and D-Wade is .581. So yes, Redick shoots for a high percentage, and at 17 percent usage, that is exactly what you need out of him.
Redick’s True Shooting percentage puts him among the leagues top 50 players, so he gets an A in this category.