REDICK HOPES FOR RETURN AFTER ALL-STAR BREAK
PLAYA VISTA – Doc Rivers had an inkling a few days ago that J.J. Redick might not be available until after this weekend’s All-Star Game.
Redick will miss his fourth game in a row Wednesday with a sore right hip, but Rivers knew he might have to sit Redick after seeing him walk gingerly out of the arena Friday night. Originally, Rivers intended to rest Redick through the Clippers’ second game of their four-game home stand and have him back in the lineup on Sunday against the 76ers. But Redick was ruled out Sunday and Rivers said it seems counterproductive to play him Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
“I just don’t see the benefit of playing him one game now,” Rivers said prior to practice Tuesday. “So, let’s just sit him and see how he is out of the break. I think he’ll be good.”
Redick has battled injuries throughout his first season with the Clippers (36-18). He sat out six preseason games with a quad injury and missed 21 games from Dec. 1 to Jan. 10 with a fractured wrist. He scored 18 points or more in six of his first 10 games back but was slowed by a series of nagging ailments that started with a bruised left knee in Indiana and ended with lower back spasms and a strained gluteal muscle in Toronto on Jan. 25, which is related to his latest injury.
“The strained [gluteal] muscle that I had going back to the Toronto game caused some nerve irritation and what we’re waiting on is for that nerve to wake back up so that my right leg can function properly,” Redick said. “Basically, I’m trying to activate muscles. I haven’t done anything on the court since the Denver game. There’s no point in me coming out here and jumping with a noodle leg.”
He played five games before being ruled out, but it was clear he was not himself. Redick was just 9-for-27 from the field in the last three games and appeared to have trouble moving fluidly.
“If there’s a nerve that’s not firing there’s just like a lag with any sort of jump or pushing off,” Redick said. “There’s a lag. Then other muscles take over. Basically, that’s what I had happen the last few games that I played. Other muscles took over.
“It’s not a functional way to play NBA basketball.”
The rest has helped, but Redick said the situation is “beyond frustrating.” Rivers pulled him from shootaround prior to the Clippers matchup with the Heat and he initially disagreed with the decision.
“[Tyronn] Lue and a couple of the other coaches talked to me and said, ‘I know it’s not in your nature but this is for the good of you and the good of the team,’” Redick said. “It’s frustrating, again, I’m not one of those guys who enjoys being out. I hate missing time. I love playing basketball. My wife is going nuts right now. I’m driving her crazy.”
For now it is just a matter of waiting it out. The Clippers play Wednesday at Staples Center and do not return to the court until the following Tuesday (Feb. 18) against the San Antonio Spurs.
“I’m waiting,” Redick said. “Hopefully, I practice [Feb. 17] and things heal up over the break and that’s the goal. When Doc pulled me out of shootaround Wednesday against Miami he told me take the next two games off and see how you feel this weekend. I still wasn’t ready.”