Denton: Redick's Constant Improvement a Testament to His Work Ethic


By John Denton
November 27, 2012

ORLANDO –The evolution of J.J. Redick’s success on the basketball court has come not only because he dramatically changed his body and refined his shooting stroke, but also because he turned himself into a student of the game.

Through the years, Redick has constantly studied the likes of great shooting guards such as Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, Dwyane Wade and Manu Ginobili. And because basketball is a copycat sport, Redick has taken things those great players do and added them to his own arsenal.

He studied how players like Miller, Allen and Sunday’s opponent, Jason Terry, moved without the ball and used screens to get open. He’s learned how to use his pump fake as a weapon to send defenders flying through the air and the proper way to make a pocket pass on pick-and-roll plays through video research. And he’s marveled at the way Wade and Ginobili have used flawless footwork to shake defenders and contribute offensively in a variety of ways.

Redick has been able to mix those things into his own game to the point where he is now considered one of the NBA’s best sixth men. It’s only natural to make comparisons between Ginobili, the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2008, and Orlando’s Redick. The two will square off Wednesday when the Magic (5-8) and the Spurs (12-3) play at the Amway Center, and Redick admits he’s taken parts of Ginobili’s game and incorporated them into his own style.

``He’d be a great guy to model your game after because he’s a spectacular player who has done at an all-star level for a number of years,’’ Redick said of Ginobili.

``I’ve taken some things from different players. One thing he’s great at – and I’ve taken this from Dwyane Wade as well – are drive-aways on pick-and-rolls. He’s great at rejecting the screen and creating space that way. I’m just not as creative at passing the ball as he is. And his footwork is at another level. It’s something that guys all over the league try to immolate. (James) Harden basically took all of his moves. (Ginobili) is a great player.’’

Redick, 28 years old and in his seventh NBA season, has moved into the conversation of being an elite player this season what with the way he’s carried the Magic offense for long stretches. He’s third on the team in scoring (14.8 points per game) and second in assists (5.0 assists per game), while also approaching the famed 50-40-90 categories. Redick is shooting 46.2 percent from the floor, 36.5 percent from 3-point range and 90.2 percent from the free throw line. In a historical context, only five players ever – Larry Bird (twice), Steve Nash (four times), Reggie Miller, Mark Price and Dirk Nowitzki have accomplished the 50-40-90 feat in a season.

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