Redick's Hot Spots

J.J. Redick

Let’s get this out of the way now. Redick is no longer from Duke. I mean, he is still from Duke of course, but he is no longer “J.J. Redick from Duke.” He is just “J.J. Redick.” The 11th overall draft pick in 2006, Redick was either loved (fans, teammates) or hated (opposing fans, opposing teammates) for four straight years. After his senior season, everyone giving awards was giving Redick awards. AP Player of the Year, John R. Wooden Award, Naismith Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year Award.

Yet, the player who was once associated with his college glory days more than just about anyone is today a lethal shooter, capable pick-and-roll ballhandler, budding passer, and smart defender with strong footwork. In the NBA. Just like that, the former college star is now the definition of a “professional”. And you don’t have to write for Bucks.com to see or say that. 

Passing

Here he was, passing guard, setting up four teammates for baskets before making his first jumper with the Bucks. There he was, shooting guard, having never racked up more than four assists in an entire game until his fourth season in the NBA.

Redick has improved dramatically as a passer since arriving in the NBA. Even in his stellar 2010-11 campaign, he averaged 1.7 assists. That jumped to 2.5 last season and then all the way up to 4.4 per game with the Magic this season. And this was not a matter of playing a lot more minutes either – his per minute assist numbers also flew up.

In his first game with the Bucks, he dished out seven assists. The team accumulated 28 assists overall in Redick’s first game, their most in more than a month. His no-look pass to Samuel Dalembert for a reverse dunk was the highlight of the night.

Offense

Although the Bucks dropped the game 103-102 to the Hawks in Redick’s debut, the offense clicked and clicked for all but a few unfortunate minutes late in the fourth quarter. The only real missing ingredient was three-pointers, as the Bucks made just 4-12 compared to 14-28 on long range shots by the Hawks. But they still worked in triple digits in a fast-paced game that Redick fit into seamlessly despite not yet knowing all of the team’s halfcourt sets. 

And while the offense had improved since Jim Boylan took over as head coach, it remains more than a few ticks behind the defense. More than four months into the season, the Bucks rank 10th overall in defensive efficiency but 24th in offensive efficiency.

Redick’s specific offensive strengths should work in Milwaukee’s favor. The obvious one is long-range shooting. Milwaukee has spent most of the season as a decidedly below average three point shooting team, currently ranking 21st in three-point percentage and also 21st in three-point attempts. And that is despite calling two of the NBA’s most accurate three-point shooters (Ersan Ilyasova and Mike Dunleavy) their own. But neither of those two shoot nearly as many threes as Redick, who has attempted more than 100 more threes than Dunleavy and Ilyasova.

The threes didn’t arrive against Atlanta, but with another court-spacing option in the fold, you couldn’t help but see the driving lanes opening up a bit. The threat of another real three-point shooter should make life easier for both Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis to penetrate and finish or drive and kick.

Five Redick Hot Spots

Redick can shoot. The point of this story is to show more exactly where and when and how Redick is best at shooting. Here are five of Redick’s favorite shot hot spots:

(Numbers via stats.nba.com, basketball-reference, and Synergy Sports)

Transition Threes

The Magic are in no hurry on offense this season. While they do not operate quickly (middle-of-the-road 17th in pace factor) in the first place, they are even further down the board when it comes to fastbreak points (26th). Redick’s former team was mostly a halfcourt team. Meanwhile, the Bucks rank 5th in pace factor, pushing the ball frequently in order to play to the strengths of Ellis, Jennings, and company.

Redick looked comfortable in the fast-paced game against the Hawks, and while the one-game sample size is nothing worth reading too far into, the fact is that Redick has been an exceptional shooter in transition all season.

Redick was 20-45 (.444) in Orlando on threes in transition, and now he figures to get even more of those looks.

Spot-Up Twos and Threes

He doesn’t shoot off spot ups as often as Dunleavy, but he is just as prolific when he does – which is high praise. While 30.7 % of Dunleavy’s shots are via spot ups, only 17.9 % of Redick’s shots are of the spot-up variety. But he makes them count like few other players in the NBA.

In Orlando, Redick made 47.1 % of his spot-up attempts overall, which ranked among the 20 best in the league. Maximizing Redick’s spot-up attempts will be one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to improve that aforementioned 24th ranked offensive efficiency.

Free Throws

Sort of obvious, but worth mentioning for a few reasons. First, Redick is among the NBA greats at the stripe with an 88.0 % career mark. That puts him right behind Kevin Durant and right in front of Jeff Hornacek and Dirk Nowitzki on the all-time leaderboard. Second, he is another great option (in addition to Dunleavy and Jennings) when the team needs to seal a game at the line down the stretch. And third, don’t expect him to average more than three or four free throw attempts per game, but the 7-7 debut was an encouraging sign that Redick can fit into the offense and function as far more than a spot-up shooter.

Around The Basket

Maybe this one is more of a surprise. Redick is finishing around the basket very, very well this season, and normally I wouldn’t write very twice in a row. You can see at the top of the story that he is in the green around the hoop (at 61.4 %), which makes it a good time to reaffirm that green is above average, yellow is average, and red is below average.

Some perspective: The only player with a better shooting percentage from 0-8 feet from the hoop on the Bucks is Samuel Dalembert (.617) – and even that one is a close call.

Left Corner Threes

Redick is not attempting as many corners threes this season as in many years past, and he hasn’t been quite as accurate as in the past either.

But he might just be arriving at the right time to help fix what has been a sore spot for the team all season. As referenced at the top of the team Shot Chart article published last week, the Bucks have struggled mightily on left corner threes, in the deep red converting just 28.5 %. Yet they have taken even more from the left than from the right, where they have made an impressive 42.7 %.

Fortunately, Redick brings a history of success from the left corner. He is making a solid 40.9 % on left corner threes this season, and he has knocked down 48.6 % from that spot throughout his NBA career. Something to keep an eye on.

 

Alex Boeder

My passions? Writing and the Bucks, to start. So it is good to be here. I have reported on media row for just about every Bucks home game since 2009-10 – almost all of that time writing for BrewHoop. I have also written for the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, SB Nation, ESPN Milwaukee, Slam Online, etc. You can follow me on Twitter @alexboeder or email me at adboeder@gmail.com.